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Well known psych study cannot be replicated

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But by now, so what? Apart from political issues (gaining power by manipulating fake science claims), all this stuff would be so long discredited that it would only survive as a branch of the “Cultural Studies Department.”  Anyway,t his stuff:

Over 30 years ago, Leonard Martin, Sabine Stepper, and I (Strack et al., 1988) conducted two studies to test the “facial feedback” hypothesis (Darwin, 1872). At the time, the hypothesis itself, namely that facial expressions may affect emotional experiences, was well established and frequently tested (e.g., Leventhal and Mace, 1970; Laird, 1974). However, the underlying mechanism remained largely unexplored.

The resulting “pen study” was meant neither to demonstrate a cute phenomenon nor to identify a powerful intervention to improve people’s feelings. Instead, it was intended to be one piece in the theoretical puzzle. This was underscored in the last sentence of the original article: “Obviously, more research is needed to understand the exact mechanisms that are responsible for facial feedback. In this endeavor, an alternative methodology that eliminates possible confounds may be helpful (p. 776).”

Since 1988, more research on facial feedback has been conducted (Laird and Lacasse, 2014) and even a new methodology was introduced that was robust enough to even afford therapeutic interventions, namely the suppression (injecting Botox) of the corrugator muscle, which contracts the eyebrows and is implied in negative emotions (Finzi and Rosenthal, 2016).

In 2013, I volunteered to be part of a Registered Replication Report project and submitted the experimental materials. In September 2016, the results came out (Wagenmakers et al., 2016). Seventeen replication groups had tested 1,894 participants. For nine groups, the result was in the predicted direction, for eight groups in the opposite direction. Overall, there was no significant effect. (Fritz Strack, Frontiers in Science, July 2017)More.

In any event, there is poker. (And, in peaceful jurisdictions, the stoneface cop. )

See also: “The evolutionary psychologist knows why you vote — and shop, and tip at restaurants”


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