Intelligent Design Psychology

“Motivated reasoning” is defacing the social sciences?

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What’s hot? What’s not?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia

Well, something must account for all the Sokal hoaxes. Part of the problem, according to one analyst, is not really wanting to know what’s going on to begin with but only using research to advance an agenda and influence public policy:

Ideologically loaded statements have become more common in recent years. The APA has had a particularly bad run of it. Just this past January, the APA’s practice guidelines for men and boys became a polarizing lightning rod, beloved by some cultural progressives, but largely panned in the centre and on the Right as stereotyping and arguably sexist in their portrayal of men and “traditional masculinity.” The guidelines were long on progressive terminology but relied on weak evidence and ignored entire fields of research related to the biological roots of gender. …

And then there is the long-running controversy over the APA’s 2015 resolution on violent video games. This happens to be the field I spend most of my time in, having provided testimony to former Vice President Biden’s hearings on the Sandy Hook shooting and testified before the School Safety Commission in June 2018. In 2013, over 230 scholars wrote to the APA expressing concern as the task force was just getting started. As with the other two resolutions, the task force appeared largely stacked with people who had taken prior anti-game views and portrayed a research field that simply doesn’t exist. Indeed, most scholars now agree that violent games play no role in societal violence. But the APA’s resolution has become a go-to source for politicians and the National Rifle Association whenever they want to distract the populace from talking about guns after a high-profile shooting. Chris Ferguson, “Motivated Reasoning Is Disfiguring Social Science” at Quillette

They used to say curiosity killed the cat. Maybe lack of curiosity about what’s really going on in life kills disciplines.

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