Stephen Dewitt

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Reconstruction of a Train Wreck: How Priming Research Went off the Rails

<b>Authors: Ulrich Schimmack, Moritz Heene, and Kamini Kesavan</b><p><b>Abstract:</b><br>We computed the R-Index for studies cited in Chapter 4 of Kahneman’s book …

Psychology

1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility

Survey sheds light on the ‘crisis’ rocking research.<p>More than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, …

How scientists fool themselves – and how they can stop

Humans are remarkably good at self-deception. But growing concern about reproducibility is driving many researchers to seek ways to fight their own …

Your brain does not process information and it is not a computer – Robert Epstein

No matter how hard they try, brain scientists and cognitive psychologists will never find a copy of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in the brain – or copies …

Updating Beliefs

Flexible Measures Are A Problem For Science

A fascinating new site called FlexibleMeasures.com reveals the enormous variety of different ways which psychologists have devised to analyse the …

Clinical Trials

Statistics: When Confounding Variables Are Out of Control

Does ice cream cause drownings? Let's think about this statistically. Consider that, in any given city, daily sales of ice cream are, most likely, …

Neurology

How to Make Psychology Studies More Reliable

A new way for the field to address its replication crisis.<p>The biggest debate in modern psychology concerns the quality of the field itself. Some psychologists contend that there is a replicability crisis, where many published results—including several classic ones—aren’t true. Others assert that …

Failure Is Moving Science Forward

The replication crisis is a sign that science is working.<p>While I paced around the green room at a recent TEDx event in Colorado, one of the other …

Science Isn’t Broken

It’s just a hell of a lot harder than we give it credit for.<p>If you follow the headlines, your confidence in science may have taken a hit lately. Peer …

Your Brain Is Primed To Reach False Conclusions

Paul Offit likes to tell a story about how his wife, pediatrician Bonnie Offit, was about to give a child a vaccination when the kid was struck by a …

Scientific method: Statistical errors

P values, the 'gold standard' of statistical validity, are not as reliable as many scientists assume.<p>For a brief moment in 2010, Matt Motyl was on …

Meet the Robin Hood of Science

How one researcher created a pirate bay for science more powerful than even libraries at top universities.<br>Read More

Social Sciences

The Dawn of a New Era in Science

By announcing the first detection of gravitational waves, scientists have vindicated Einstein and given humans a new way to look at the universe.<p>More than a billion years ago, in a galaxy that sits more than a billion light-years away, two black holes spiraled together and collided. We can’t see …

Can Statistics and Law ever learn to get along?

<b>R v Adams</b><p>In 1996 a jury heard forensic testimony that a ‘match’ had been found between Denis Adams’ DNA and a sample found at the scene of a crime …

What psychology’s crisis means for the future of science

The field is currently undergoing a painful period of introspection. It will emerge stronger than before.<p>In 1998, psychologists found evidence of a tantalizing theory: We all have a finite mental store of energy for self-control and decision-making. Resisting temptations, or making tough decisions, …

Psychology Is in Crisis Over Whether It's in Crisis

Last summer, the field of psychology had a <i>moment</i>—possibly one of the most influential events in science last year. On August 27, 2015, a group called …

3 salvoes in the reproducibility crisis

The reproducibility crisis in Psychology rumbles on. For the uninitiated, this is the general brouhaha we’re having over how reliable published …

Psychology

Reckoning with the Past

Is our feeling of ‘agency’ over an event inherently rewarding?

Today I would like to introduce a new section to this blog: ‘Incurably sceptical’. In this section I rifle through the recent cognitive psychology …

The Robin Hood of Science: The Missing Chapter

The tale of a young man driven to his death for fighting for what is right, and the young woman picking up where he left off.<br>Read More

Journalism

Could machines have become self-aware without our knowing it? – George Musser

Usually when people imagine a self-aware machine, they picture a device that emerges through deliberate effort and that then makes its presence known …

How the internet flips elections and alters our thoughts – Robert Epstein

Over the past century, more than a few great writers have expressed concern about humanity’s future. In <i>The Iron Heel</i> (1908), the American writer Jack …

Psychology's Replication Crisis Has a Silver Lining

It’s an opportunity for the field to lead.<p>There is a crisis in psychology. It’s not those rare cases of outright fraud, as when the social psychologist Diedrik Stapel simply made up the results of dozens of experiments and published them in top journals. The more serious problem—the one that keeps …

This Animal Has a Suit of Armor With Hundreds of Built-In Eyes

But what do they see?<p>Many animals are covered in protective armor—shells, scales, plates, and frills that protect their soft bodies. But one group of little-known sea creatures called chitons have evolved armor that's unlike anything else in nature.<p>Because it contains eyes. Hundreds of eyes.<p>With …

The Cognitive Psychology of Moral Discrepancy

<b>During the Second World War, the French existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, under the occupation of the German army, co-founded the</b> …

‘That Facebook Study’

Let’s do a test of selective memory. Do you remember ‘that Facebook study’ from last year? It was really creepy and ethically dubious right? Do you …