and now for something a little more uplifting – Simine Vazire (sometimes i'm wrong)


if you read my blog, you might think everything is shit and we might as well go drink whiskey and play euchre.  that's definitely plan b.  but for now, i'm sticking with plan a: SIPS.* you should come, too.

Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS)** Inaugural Meeting June 6-8th, 2016 Center for Open Science, Charlottesville, VA

SIPS is a new group created to bring together scholars working to improve methods and practices in psychological science. The aim of the inaugural meeting is to generate ideas, goals, and actionable plans to improve psychological science, including:

-Improving the training and research practices in psychological science -Improving institutional practices to incentivize better scientific practices (e.g., journals, societies, departments, and universities) -Conducting meta-science, empirical tests of reforms, and critical self-evaluation -Outreach within and outside psychology (including attention to diversity) The meeting will be a dynamic agenda of very brief presentations, open discussion, break-out work, and action planning.  We have a draft agenda here. If you're interested in coming, sign up here!

Because of practical constraints, registration is limited to approximately 60 participants for the inaugural meeting. Continue reading

fifty million frenchmen can eat it – Simine Vazire (sometimes i'm wrong)

IMG_6900 the struggle is real.

this blog post is an attempt to lay out my reasoning about why i think it's safe to conclude that p-hacking is a big problem, and false positives are a big problem, as clearly and bluntly as i can. there have been grumblings online about a new Registered Replication Report (RRR) about to come out showing that the meta-analytic result of 20 pre-registered replications of an ego depletion study is pretty much zero. it might seem like jumping the gun to write a blog post about it before it’s come out.  that's because it is jumping the gun. but i’m doing it anyway, because i think the most important conclusion is not about ego depletion. the most important conclusion is that we need to accept that 50 million frenchmen can be wrong. throughout the last few years, when i have talked to people,* one of the most strongly and frequently expressed reasons i’ve heard for not panicking is that it seems impossible that p-hacking is so rampant that even a phenomenon shown in 50 or 100 studies (e.g., ego depletion) could be a false positive. if a paradigm has been used over and over again, and dozens of papers have shown the effect, then it can’t all be a house of cards. Continue reading

Three ways to approach the replicability discussion – Sanjay Srivastava (The Hardest Science)

There are 3 ways to approach the replicability discussion/debate in science. #1 is as a logic problem. There are correct answers, and the challenge is to work them out. The goal is to be right. #2 is as a culture war. There are different sides with different motives, values, or ideologies. Some are better than others. So the goal is win out over the other side. #3 is as a social movement. Scientific progress is a shared value. Recently accumulated knowledge and technology have given us better ways to achieve it, but institutions and practices are slow to change. So the goal is to get everybody on board to make things better. Continue reading

Race Differences in Androgens: Do They Mean Anything? – Scott McGreal (Unique—Like Everybody Else)

What can group differences in androgen levels tell us about racial differences in reproductive strategies? Probably not much.

Updating a Graduate Level Personality Psychology Course – Brent Donnellan (The Trait-State Continuum)

Help! I am teaching graduate Personality Psychology in a few weeks and I want to update my syllabus. I last taught the course in Fall of 2013 so there are new readings and updates to be included. I have some ideas (e.g., the fourth law of behavior genetics piece) but I am suspicious of my ability to identify all of the relevant papers/chapters in the field.  In case you are interested, Brent Roberts maintains a repository of graduate syllabuses (or sittybes?). You can see my reading list from previous years at that location. Here is a little contest… 1. Identify references to recent papers/chapters (publication date 2012 to current) that you think should be included in a graduate personality psychology course. I try to keep the course broad (it is not just traits 101) and I am interested in both substantive and methodological pieces. Preprints are fine if you provide me the complete reference. Continue reading

give the gift of data – Simine Vazire (sometimes i'm wrong)


beautiful things happen when people make their data publicly available. from 1895 to 1903, one anonymous man kept track of his nocturnal emissions every day.*  in 1904, he published an analysis of seasonal effects in his eight years of data. because few statistical techniques had been invented for analyzing these types of data, the author based his conclusions mainly on a visual examination of the data (see top panel of the figure below). he concluded that his nocturnal emissions were higher in the spring and summer than in fall and winter. the author also did something else impressive: he shared the raw data with the world (in numerical form, not the actual biological specimens).  in 2012, widaman and helm** decided to reanalyze the data with six different modern quantitative techniques.  i won't get into the details of their analyses,*** but even just rescaling the y-axis and adding 95% confidence intervals to the monthly averages (bottom panel below****) shows just how weak the evidence was for the author's conclusion that there were seasonal patterns in the data.  indeed, widaman and helm's re-analyses did not show much evidence of any monthly or seasonal patterns at all. Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 4.51.51 PM Figure 3 from Widaman & Helm (2012) the authors describe their results as anticlimactic,***** because their main conclusion is a null effect for seasonality. Continue reading

Personality Profiles of Great American Presidents – Scott McGreal (Unique—Like Everybody Else)

A study finds that presidential greatness is associated with a mix of bright and dark traits. Great presidents have been compassionate yet also knew how to manipulate people.