What is the Link Between Heroism and Antisocial Behavior? – Scott McGreal (Unique—Like Everybody Else)

Research suggests a seemingly paradoxical link between antisocial behavior and heroism. Psychopathy has been suggested as a linking factor, but this seems unlikely.

who will watch the watchers? – Simine Vazire (sometimes i'm wrong)

[DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in my posts are personal opinions, and they do not reflect the editorial policy of Social Psychological and Personality Science or its sponsoring associations, which are responsible for setting editorial policy for the journal.]
IMG_8976 he makes it look easy.
i wasn't going to write a blog post about susan fiske's column.  many others have already raised excellent points about the earlier draft of her column, and about the tone discussion more generally.  but i have two points to make, and poor self-control.
point #1.
i have a complicated relationship with the tone issue.  on one hand, i hate the "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" attitude.  being able to stand the heat is not a personal accomplishment.  it's often a consequence of privilege.  those who have been burnt many times before (by disadvantage, silencing, etc.) are less likely to want to hang out in a place with a ton of heat.  and we need to make our field welcoming to those people who refuse to tolerate bullshit.  we need more people like that, not fewer. Continue reading

There is no “tone” problem in psychology – Tal Yarkoni ([citation needed])

Much ink has been spilled in the last week or so over the so-called “tone” problem in psychology, and what to do about it. I speak here, of course, of the now infamous (and as-yet unpublished) APS Observer column by APS Past President Susan Fiske, in which she argues rather strenuously that psychology is in danger of falling prey to “mob rule” due to the proliferation of online criticism generated by “self-appointed destructo-critics” who “ignore ethical rules of conduct.” Plenty of people have already weighed in on the topic (my favorite summary is Andrew Gelman’s take), and to be honest, I don’t really have (m)any new thoughts to offer. But since that’s never stopped me before, I will now proceed to throw those thoughts at you anyway, just for good measure. Since I’m verbose but not inconsiderate, I’ll summarize my main points way up here, so you don’t have to read 6,500 more words just to decide that you disagree with me. Basically, I argue the following points:
  1. There is nothing wrong with the general tone of our discourse in psychology at the moment.
  2. Even if there was something wrong with the tone of our discourse, it would be deeply counterproductive to waste our time talking about it in vague general terms.
  3. Fear of having one’s scientific findings torn apart by others is not unusual or pathological; it’s actually a completely normal–and healthy–feeling for a scientist.
  4. Appeals to fairness are not worth taking seriously unless the argument is pitched at the level of the entire scientific community, rather than just the sub-community one happens to belong to.
  5. When other scientists do things we don’t like, it’s pointless and counterproductive to question their motives. Continue reading

Andrew Gelman’s blog about the Fiske fiasco – Brent Roberts (pigee)

Some of you might have missed the kerfuffle that erupted in the last few days over a pre-print of an editorial written by Susan Fiske for the APS Monitor about us “methodological terrorists”.  Andrew Gelman’s blog reposts Fiske’s piece, puts it in historical context, and does a fairly good job of articulating why it is problematic beyond the terminological hyperbole that Fiske employs.  We are reposting it for your edification.
What has happened down here is the winds have changed

The Strange Link Between Attitudes Towards Sex and Drugs – Scott McGreal (Unique—Like Everybody Else)

According to evolutionary theories, people's attitudes to recreational drug use may be influenced by their preferred mating strategies.

The Power Dialogues – Brent Roberts (pigee)

The following is a hypothetical exchange between a graduate student and Professor Belfry-Roaster.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent…. Budlie Bond: Professor Belfry-Roaster I was confused today in journal club when everyone started discussing power.  I’ve taken my grad stats courses, but they didn’t teach us anything about power.  It seemed really important. But it also seemed controversial.  Can you tell me a bit more about power and why people care so much about it Prof. Belfry-Roaster: Sure, power is a very important factor in planning and evaluating research. Technically, power is defined as the long-run probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when it is, in fact, false. Power is typically considered to be a Good Thing because, if the null is false, then you want your research to be capable of rejecting it. The higher the power of your study, the better the chances are that this will happen. The concept of power comes out of a very specific approach to significance testing pioneered by Neyman and Pearson. Continue reading

The Ghost of Situationism and Why Personality is Not a Myth – Scott McGreal (Unique—Like Everybody Else)

A recent podcast on the "Myth" of personality trots out long discredited arguments against the reality of personality. Why do these ideas keep returning like a restless ghost?