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Credibility crisis: Psychology’s wishful thinking


From Ed Yong at the Atlantic:

Psychology’s Replication Crisis Can’t Be Wished Away

Yes, when that “hey, we’re saved” story whistled past the News desk here, casting doubt on serious problems in social science, we held off.

<em>coffee</em> cup with moustache by thegreatmoustache on DaWanda.comThere was something troubling about the way the findings were phrased: “Researchers overturn landmark study on the replicability of psychological science”

C’mon. It’s widely recognized that there are problems in social science, chiefly due to the monochromatic bias of the researchers. That makes them an easy mark for any flimflam that flies within their mass comfort zone. It’s all the worse if they imagine that won’t happen because they are a “science.”Retro Biscuit Tin

Anyway, Ed Yong:

Last August, I wrote about a large initiative called the Reproducibility Project, led by Brian Nosek from the University of Virginia. The project members collectively repeated 100 published psychological experiments and replicated the results of just a third of them. It was an alarming figure, which fed into what has become something of a civil war among psychologists.  …

Four members of that second camp, including Harvard University’s Daniel Gilbert, hit back yesterday with a comment that challenged the methods and statistical analyses of the Reproducibility Project, and put forward a much more optimistic take on the state of psychology.

I want to make two points here. First, the Reproducibility Project is far from the only line of evidence for psychology’s problems. There’s the growing list of failures to replicate textbook phenomena. There’s publication bias—the tendency to only publish studies with positive results, while dismissing those with negative ones. There’s evidence of questionable research practices that are widespread and condoned.More.

Good links there.

See also: Shedding the social sciences


Even “skeptic” Michael Shermer gets it about the problems with social sciences today.

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