Intelligent Design Psychology Science

Researchers: Many published psych studies lack validity

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In other news, water runs downhill. Still, worth noting:

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.

“These findings call into question the accuracy of one of psychology’s most common practices and suggest that the field needs to strongly improve its practices in this methodological domain,” said Chester, an assistant professor in theDepartment of Psychologyin theCollege of Humanities and Sciences.

Virginia Commonwealth University, “Many published psychology experiments lack evidence of validity, study finds” at ScienceDaily

Paper. (open access)

How about this: Many people believe psych studies, as reported in popular media, for the same reasons as their ancestors believed superstitions. If it’s marketable, it can just be pleasing malarkey. Now and then a widely popular psych study provides some insight, just like now and then superstition happens to be correct.

When yer news hound was a child, she was told a superstition: If a snake is cut in half, the head end can turn around and bite you. As it happens, that’s a legitimate concern. The head end survives for a while…

But most superstitions are still malarkey and so are a lot of psych studies.

2 Replies to “Researchers: Many published psych studies lack validity

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Personal superstitions, acquired through experience, are likely to be useful if not statistically valid. If Y followed X more than once, it doesn’t matter if there’s no obvious causal mechanism. There may well be a hidden chain of causation in those specific circumstances. (Black box, as I was discussing in previous comment.)

    Official superstitions, like Friday the 13th or Covid the 19th, are much less likely to be valid.

  2. 2
    AaronS1978 says:


    “Official superstitions, like Friday the 13th or Covid the 19th, are much less likely to be valid”


    Enjoyable word play

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