In recent months social psychologists have focused an increasing amount of attention on the soundness of their scientific methods. Although the problems we face are troubling, I believe that the renewed attention they are getting is a very positive trend because a self-critical approach is essential to ensuring the continuing health of the discipline. If, as a scientific community, we were to ignore problems as they became apparent, then our entire endeavor would be undermined. The question, then, is not whether we need to be improving the state of our science, but how we can do so most effectively.
This is a re-post of my article from earlier today on my new blog at Big Think. As of this morning Random Assignment has a new home-away-from-home which you can visit here, but I’ll continue to post here as well. This is the second in a series of Psychology of Nothing posts that explore the social psychology of Seinfeld, so if you’re a Seinfeld fan be on the lookout for more where this came from, and I’m always open to ideas and suggestions. You can see the first Psychology of Nothing post, Phantom Symptoms, here.View full post
I wrote a piece for Big Think that came out on Monday and there were some additional thoughts that I wanted to share that didn’t make it into the original article. If you’ve already read the piece, then thank you – if you haven’t, you can read it here: Odysseus Nudged: How Limiting Our Choices Can Give Us More Freedom. Most of these ideas came up in a phone conversation I had with George Loewenstein in preparing to write the story; it was his article in the New York Daily News is what got me thinking about some of these ideas.View full post
This is a draft of an article I submitted to Nautilus Magazine, a “new magazine on science, culture, and philosophy,” for their issue entitled In Transit. Nautilus already had plans to cover the topic of my story, narrative transportation, so they politely declined my submission, which I share here with you. Their magazine is off to a great start, I encourage you to check it out.View full post
Lovable anti-hero George Costanza is having a salad for lunch when he suddenly clutches at his chest and declares, “I think I’m having a heart attack!” His companions, Jerry and Elaine, seem remarkably unconcerned with George’s seemingly life-threatening predicament. As George breathlessly lists off the symptoms he’s experiencing (Tightness… Shortness of breath… Radiating waves of pain!), Jerry arrives at a less catastrophic diagnosis: “I know what this is. You saw that show on PBS last night, Coronary Country.”View full post
I’m not sure how it’s possible that until yesterday I had never seen Paul Rozin speak. However it happened, I corrected a huge mistake by going to see him give an invited address at the Midwestern Psychological Association meeting in Chicago titled, The Aesthetics and Pleasures of Temporal Sequences. The talk spanned far more than that topic, but as Rozin’s research predicts, it was made extremely memorable by ending with a bang.View full post
Uri Simonsohn’s “secret” paper describing the analyses he used to detect fraud in the Dirk Smeesters and Larry Sanna cases has now been submitted for publication and is available on SSRN. Simonsohn explains the analyses he used to detect and confirm the fraud and calls on journals to make the publication of raw data their default policy.