Scientific research is an attempt to identify a working truth about the world that is as independent of ideology as possible. As we appear to be entering a time of heightened skepticism about the value of scientific information, we feel it is important to emphasize and foster research practices that enhance the integrity of scientific data and thus scientific information. We have therefore created a list of better research practices that we believe, if followed, would enhance the reproducibility and reliability of psychological science. The proposed methodological practices are applicable for exploratory or confirmatory research, and for observational or experimental methods.
- If testing a specific hypothesis, pre-register your research, so others can know that the forthcoming tests are informative. Report the planned analyses as confirmatory, and report any other analyses or any deviations from the planned analyses as exploratory.
- If conducting exploratory research, present it as exploratory. Then, document the research by posting materials, such as measures, procedures, and analytical code so future researchers can benefit from them. Also, make research expectations and plans in advance of analyses—little, if any, research is truly exploratory. State the goals and parameters of your study as clearly as possible before beginning data analysis.
- Consider data sharing options prior to data collection (e.g. Continue reading
Criminals are usually lower than normal people in conscientiousness, yet a new study finds that prisoners are higher in this trait. What can explain this apparent paradox?
The Big Five model is a very big deal to psychologists, and has been for decades. At the moment, it is the most respected, widely studied method for accomplishing the tricky task of summing up someone’s personality. It consists of five dimensions, and as the University of Oregon social psychologist Sanjay Srivastava explains on his website, each is perhaps best understood as containing a bundle of traits. Continue reading →
Do parties—or other gatherings that require you to interact with strangers or acquaintances—strike panic in your soul?
You’re not alone.
As I conduct research for my upcoming book on friendship, I’ve found that most people have experienced discomfort when attempting to strike up and maintain a conversation with someone they don’t know well.
But here’s an important observation. If we tried to avoid small talk, because of the tensions involved, it would likely prevent us from making friendships over time.
While small talk may sometimes be dismissed as the meaningless “fluff” of communication, it’s actually an essential building block for connecting with others.
To help take the mystery out of the daunting task of small talking, I’ve engaged another round of experts who’ve devoted themselves to studying human interaction. (If you missed the first round of interviews on friendship, you can check out that series here.) Continue reading →
There is a popular belief that psychopaths are highly intelligent, but this isn't true. What accounts for this misconception?