False-positive psychology five years later – Sanjay Srivastava (The Hardest Science)

Joe Simmons, Leif Nelson, and Uri Simonsohn have written a 5-years-later[1] retrospective on their “false-positive psychology” paper. It is for an upcoming issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science dedicated to the most-cited articles from APS publications. A preprint is now available. It’s a short and snappy read with some surprises and gems. For example, footnote 2 notes that the Journal of Consumer Research declined to adopt their disclosure recommendations because they might “dull … some of the joy scholars may find in their craft.” No, really. For the youngsters out there, they do a good job of capturing in a sentence a common view of what we now call p-hacking: “Everyone knew it was wrong, but they thought it was wrong the way it’s wrong to jaywalk. We decided to write ‘False-Positive Psychology’ when simulations revealed it was wrong the way it’s wrong to rob a bank.”[2] The retrospective also contains a review of how the paper has been cited in 3 top psychology journals. About half of the citations are from researchers following the original paper’s recommendations, but typically only a subset of them. The most common citation practice is to justify having barely more than 20 subjects per cell, which they now describe as a “comically low threshold” and take a more nuanced view on. Continue reading

Is Using Profanity a Sign of Honesty? – Scott McGreal (Unique—Like Everybody Else)

A recent paper suggests that profanity may be a reflection of emotional honesty and candor. However, closer examination of the studies' results casts doubt on this idea.

looking under the hood – 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.]

Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 4.07.25 PM lipstick on a hippo

before modern regulations, used car dealers didn't have to be transparent.  they could take any lemon, pretend it was a solid car, and fleece their customers.  this is how used car dealers became the butt of many jokes.
scientists are in danger of meeting the same fate.*  the scientific market is unregulated, which means that scientists can wrap their shaky findings in nice packaging and fool many, including themselves.  in a paper that just came out in Collabra: Psychology,** i describe how lessons from the used car market can save us.  this blog post is the story of how i came up with this idea.
last summer, i read Smaldino and McElreath's great paper on "The natural selection of bad science."  i agreed with almost everything in there, but there was one thing about it that rattled me.  their argument rests on the assumption that journals do a bad job of selecting for rigorous science. they write "An incentive structure that rewards publication quantity will, in the absence of countervailing forces, select for methods that produce the greatest number of publishable results." (p. Continue reading

A Most Courageous Act – Brent Roberts (pigee)

The most courageous act a modern academic can make is to say they were wrong.  After all, we deal in ideas, not things.  When we say we were wrong, we are saying our ideas, our products so to speak, were faulty.  It is a supremely unsettling thing to do. Of course, in the Platonic ideal, and in reality, being a scientist necessitates being wrong a lot. Unfortunately, our incentive system militates against being honest about our work. Thus, countless researchers choose not to admit or even acknowledge the possibility that they might have been mistaken. In a bracingly honest post in response to a blog by Uli Schimmack, the Nobel Prize winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, has done the unthinkable.  He has admitted that he was mistaken.   Here’s a quote: Continue reading

A grad student’s review of SPSP 2017 – Carol Tweten (Person X Situation)

Last month I attended the annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in San Antonio, TX. I think this was my 4th year attending, and I’ve enjoyed it every year. I wanted to summarize what I viewed as some of the pros of this year’s conference as well as some of the cons. Of course, everything in this post is my opinion, and you are free to disagree. Note too that I’m a graduate student; faculty members likely have a very different experience at conferences. Here we go. Pro #1: Networking SPSP is fantastic for networking, at least within Social/Personality. Big names from every topic area attend this conference! When a well-known researcher walks down a hallway or into a room, at least 3 people will lean in to the person next to them and whisper “that’s so-and-so!” and that other person will then say “Really! Where?!” It’s actually quite entertaining. Continue reading

The Fundamental Errors of Situationism – Scott McGreal (Unique—Like Everybody Else)

Are people really "pure dispositionalists" who underestimate the "power of the situation" to influence behavior? A closer look at the evidence suggests these claims are overhyped.

The Fundamental Attribution Error is Overrated – Scott McGreal (Unique—Like Everybody Else)

Does the so-called fundamental attribution error deserve to be more widely known? The importance of this phenomenon has actually been blown out of all proportion.