Towards a De-biased Social Psychology: The effects of ideological perspective go beyond politics. – David Funder (funderstorms)

Behavioral and Brain Sciences, in press; subject to final editing before publication This is a commentary on: Duarte, J. L., Crawford, J. T., Stern, C., Haidt, J., Jussim, L., & Tetlock, P. E.  (in press). Political diversity will improve social psychological science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. To access the target article, click here. Continue reading

Everyone Gets a Job! – Michael Kraus (Psych Your Mind)

A terrifying graph for any PhD student! (source)
It's late October and that means we are squarely in the middle of job season for psychology PhDs (and PhD candidates). I was hired during the 2011-2012 job cycle, and so I recently switched to the evaluation side of the job process. Sitting on this side of the fence I feel incredibly fortunate to have a job: There are a ton of accomplished graduate students and postdocs with strong records, interesting research ideas, and stellar (!!!) letters of recommendation. If the system were running optimally, most of these applicants would land jobs. If the system were running optimally... Read More->

Is Obama a Narcissist? – Brent Donnellan (The Trait-State Continuum)

Warning: For educational purposes only. I am a personality researcher not a political scientist! Short Answer: Probably Not. Longer Answer: There has been a fair bit of discussion about narcissism and the current president (see here for example). Some of this stemmed from recent claims about his use of first person pronouns (i.e., a purported use of greater “I-talk”). A big problem with that line of reasoning is that the empirical evidence linking narcissism with I-talk is surprisingly shaky.  Thus, Obama’s use of pronouns is probably not very useful when it comes to making inferences about his levels of narcissism. Perhaps a better way to gauge Obama’s level of narcissism is to see how well his personality profile matches a profile typical of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).  The good news is that we have such a personality profile for NPD thanks to Lynam and Widiger (2001).  Those researchers asked 12 experts to describe the prototype case of NPD in terms of the facets of the Five-Factor Model (FFM). Continue reading

When Are Direct Replications Necessary? – Ryne Sherman (Sherman's Head)

We are told that replication is the heart of all sciences. As such, psychology has recently seen numerous calls for direct replication. Sanjay Srivastava says that replication provides an opportunity to falsify an idea (an important concept in science, but rarely done in psychology). Brian Nosek and Jeffrey Spies suggest that replication would help identify “manufactured effects” rapidly. And Brent Roberts proposed a three step process, the last of which is a direct replication of any unique study reported in the package of studies. Not everyone thinks that direct replications are useful though. Andrew Wilson has argued that replication will not save psychology and better theories are needed. Jason Mitchell has gone so far as to say that failed replications offer nothing to science as they are largely the result of practical mistakes on the part of the experimenters. So are direct replications necessary? My answer is a definitive: sometimes. Let’s start by considering what I gather to be some of the main arguments for direct replications.

Sample Sizes in Personality and Social Psychology – Brent Roberts (pigee)

R. Chris Fraley Imagine that you’ve a young graduate student who has just completed a research project. You think the results are exciting and that they have the potential to advance the field in a number of ways. You would like to submit your research to a journal that has a reputation for publishing the highest caliber research in your field. How would you know which journals are regarded for publishing high-quality research? Traditionally, scholars and promotion committees have answered this question by referencing the citation Impact Factor (IF) of journals. But as critics of the IF have noted, citation rates per se may not reflect anything informative about the quality of empirical research. A paper can receive a large number of citations in the short run because it reports surprising, debatable, or counter-intuitive findings regardless of whether the research was conducted in a rigorous manner. In other words, the citation rate of a journal may not be particularly informative concerning the quality of the research it reports. What would be useful is a way of indexing journal quality that is based upon the strength of the research designs used in published articles rather than the citation rate of those articles alone. Continue reading

open letter to editors – Simine Vazire (sometimes i'm wrong)



dear editors, i love journals.  i love editors.  i love editors of journals.  that's why i want to help.  we need more quality control in our journals, and you are the ones who can do it. in july 2012, in a comment to a blog post, chris fraley wrote 'What we might need, in other words, is a formal “consumer reports” for our leading journals.' i was so excited by this idea that i wrote to him and told him it was the best actionable idea that has come out of the replicability discussion.* fast forward 27 months, and our paper, 'N-Pact Factor: Evaluating the quality of empirical journals with respect to sample size and statistical power' is out. you can read the actual paper here, and you can read chris's blog post about it here. Continue reading

What do Heroes and Psychopaths Have in Common? – Scott McGreal (Unique—Like Everybody Else)

Recent research looks at whether heroes and psychopaths are "twigs from the same branch." People who have performed heroic actions to help others often have a history of antisocial behavior as well. There may be loose connections between heroism and having "psychopathic" qualities, but the reasons for this remain unclear. read more