The Colorful Personality: Another Face of the Dark Side? – Scott McGreal (Unique—Like Everybody Else)

People with colorful personalities, or histrionic traits, can be entertaining yet also very self-centered. Charming and theatrical, they may use social skills to exploit others. The colorful personality may be an addition to the growing list of dark personalities.

Thought Fragments Concerning Ideology in Social Science – Michael Kraus (Psych Your Mind)

I took a course in sociology my first year as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. The course was an introduction to sociology taught by professor and social activist, Harry Edwards. The course blew me away because it felt so viscerally real. Professor Edwards would talk about social class, race, and gender in America and students would chime in about their own experiences that brought these big social constructs to life. What I learned in Professor Edwards’ class resembled nothing we had discussed in my high school history classes—I grew up in a politically conservative suburb in San Diego, and we didn’t have much ideological diversity in our discussions of law and society. Sociology, and social sciences more broadly, really spoke to me.
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Guest Post by Laura Scherer – Simine Vazire (sometimes i'm wrong)

the post below was written by laura scherer following a brief interaction we had on the ISCON facebook page, followed by a few facebook messages back and forth.  i think this is a great example of the kind of thoughtful contribution we could be seeing more of if we could find a way to have productive and pleasant discussions online.  i realize pleasantness is not the most important factor in intellectual discussions, but the problem with unpleasantness is that it drives people away,* and then we miss out on some potentially fruitful discussions.  i don't know what the solution is,** but some food for thought.


* also there are other problems with unpleasantness.

** blogs, obviously.

----------- Much is being said about the Reproducibility Project’s failure to replicate the majority of 100 studies. Judging from the ensuing debate, there appears to be disagreement about virtually every aspect of the project, from whether it was properly designed and conducted to whether it has any implications for our science at all. The debate that has emerged has been heated, especially in online forums. Continue reading

The New Rules of Research – Brent Roberts (pigee)

A paper on one of the most important research projects in our generation came out a few weeks ago. I’m speaking, of course, of the Reproducibility Project conducted by several hundred psychologists. It is a tour de force of good science. Most importantly, it provided definitive evidence for the state of the field. Despite the fact that 97% of the original studies reported statistically significant effects, only 36% hit the magical p < .05 mark when closely replicated. Two defenses have been raised against the effort. The first, described by some as the “move along folks, there’s nothing to see here” defense, proposes that a 36% replication rate is no big deal. It is to be expected given how tough it is to do psychological science. At one level I’m sympathetic to the argument that science is hard to do, especially psychological science. It is the case that very few psychologists have 36% of their ideas work. And, by work, I mean in the traditional sense of the word, which is to net a p value less than . Continue reading

Moderator interpretations of the Reproducibility Project – Sanjay Srivastava (The Hardest Science)

The Reproducibility Project: Psychology (RPP) was published in Science last week. There has been some excellent coverage and discussion since then. If you haven’t heard about it,* Ed Yong’s Atlantic coverage will catch you up. And one of my favorite commentaries so far is on Michael Frank’s blog, with several very smart and sensible ways the field can proceed next. Rather than offering a broad commentary, in this post I’d like to discuss one possible interpretation of the results of the RPP, which is “hidden moderators.” Hidden moderators are unmeasured differences between original and replication experiments that would result in differences in the true, underlying effects and therefore in the observed results of replications. Things like differences in subject populations and experimental settings. Moderator interpretations were the subject of a lengthy discussion on the ISCON Facebook page recently, and are the focus of an op-ed by Lisa Feldman Barrett. In the post below, I evaluate the hidden-moderator interpretation. The tl;dr version is this: Context moderators are probably common in the world at large and across independently-conceived experiments. But an explicit design goal of direct replication is to eliminate them, and there’s good reason to believe they are rare in replications. 1. Continue reading

Teaching Undergrads vs. MBAs: Four Observations – Michael Kraus (Psych Your Mind)

Hello and sorry I've been away from blogging for so long! I ended up switching departments and jobs--now I work at Yale University at the School of Management. As you might imagine, a lot of things have changed as a result of the move. What I'd like to do today is to briefly summarize what stuck out to me as the main differences between teaching undergraduate psychology majors and first year MBAs. A note of caution before we dive in: I've only spent about 27 hours teaching MBAs and three years teaching psychology undergraduates, so it's possible that I know little to nothing about teaching BOTH groups. Also, the undergraduates and MBAs experienced different courses and come from different universities, so the differences I observed might not reflect MBA/undergrad distinctions. What is reported here is simply one person's observations from a relatively short time period. Read More->

LSD, Suggestibility, and Personality Change – Scott McGreal (Unique—Like Everybody Else)

A recent study found that LSD increases suggestibility. Research suggests that psychedelic drug use can increase openness to unusual ideas, such as spiritual and paranormal beliefs, in the long-term. Could this be be due to a long-lasting increase in suggestibility and related personality traits?