There is an academic achievement gap in the United States. Compared to their White peers, African American and Latino American students earn lower grades and are more likely to drop out of school. Recently, a small intervention, aimed at easing the psychological burdens that impair minority performance, has been found to interrupt this downward trajectory, improving the performance of minority students, narrowing the achievement gap, and with long lasting effects.
My first post for Nautilus’ blog, Facts so Romantic, is on new research by Clayton Critcher and Melissa Ferguson, about the costs of keeping secrets. The research, inspired by the now repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy in the U.S. military, suggests that keeping your identity secret can impair your cognitive abilities, your self-control, and even your physical strength.View full post
My friend and colleague Emily Oster’s new book, Expecting Better, came out last week. She dives into the data behind what your doctors and friends tell you about pregnancy and gives you the information you need to ask the right questions and make decisions that fit with your values. I wrote a short blog post about it, including some thoughts as a parent and psychologist. In particular, why are people generally so optimistic about their health and other life outcomes, but can get so much more conservative when it comes to pregnancy. It’s more questions than answers, so your thoughts are very welcome. You can read the article here: http://bigthink.com/
Although my plan was to cross-post my writing from Big Think here, I haven’t been doing it the past several weeks, so here’s an update on what I’ve been writing about recently, which I invite you to read in full over at BigThink. You can read all my posts at BigThink here.View full post
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
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.
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.