ScienceDaily: Chester and Lasko investigated 348 psychological manipulations included in peer-reviewed studies. They found that roughly 42% of the experiments were paired with no validity evidence, and that the remaining psychological manipulations were validated in ways that were extremely limited.
Like so many social science lecture room myths, it might be too good not to be true. Except it maybe isn’t. Anyway.
The rap? Among other things, “the implausibility of the results presented, many of which show effect sizes virtually unknown in medical science.”
We ask on account of this paper on how to talk to people who think that climate change isn’t as bad as many are making out. Rob Sheldon wonders why a science faculty is so much more concerned with psychology than facts.
In other words, even if social scientists can replicate research results, there may be little agreement about what, if anything, they mean. Is it a good idea for governments to consult them on social policy?
We love it. “Correction mechanisms in science can sometimes work slowly… ” Why does that remind us of “Nature has retracted a major oceans warning paper, after ten months of mass freakouts? The suspicion raised—and it is not unreasonable—is that the harm that wrong information does is useful to some parties. It’s almost like we sense the retraction coming conveniently after the damage is done.
No, it’s not. Now, what about psychology in its present state?
There is, of course, more to the story of what goes wrong but honestly doubting the existence of one’s mind is a good start.
The distinction is that low-quality papers might happen to fall through the cracks now and then and a cherry picker could gin up an indictment of a whole field unjustly. BUT when a number of hoax papers get accepted by various journals, that points to deeper systemic rot. Especially when the social science profs are enraged rather than ashamed
The rap is “research misconduct,” of all things. Oh and get this: “An academic journal is continuing to sell a viral article on “rape culture” and “queer performativity” in Portland dog parks despite expressing concerns about the veracity of the research. Veracity? It was a genuine hoax, that’s what kind of veracity it had.
Laws concerning the way people behave around numbers mean that quantification itself invites certain types of corruption.
Some of us remember back when religious figures were urged to make some sort of accommodation with psychology. Now that psychology has largely become one big Sokal hoax, it’s hard to see why anyone would bother.
But maybe this historian of science’s idea can’t work. Many doctors are prepared to slay beautiful theories for the sake of the lives of their patients. Have social scientists any similar motivation?
In the second edition of Jonathan Bartlett and Eric Holloway ‘s journal, Communications of the Blyth Institute.
Aw come on, it’s actually not all that complicated when you see it in action. One way you can know that liberal bias deepens the replication crisis is this: Consider the sheer number of ridiculous Sokal hoaxes that have played psychology journals.