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Psychology: The gypsy woman holding a crystal ball of the sciences.

Psychology: The gypsy woman holding a crystal ball of the sciences.

Old Mar 18th 2016, 12:08 am
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Truth is the safest lie.
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Wink Psychology: The gypsy woman holding a crystal ball of the sciences.

Don’t trust everything you read in the psychology literature. In fact, two thirds of it should probably be distrusted.

In the biggest project of its kind, Brian Nosek, a social psychologist and head of the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Virginia, and 269 co-authors repeated work reported in 98 original papers from three psychology journals, to see if they independently came up with the same results.

...According to the replicators' qualitative assessments, as previously reported by Nature, only 39 of the 100 replication attempts were successful...

...The 39% figure derives from the team's subjective assessments of success or failure (see graphic, 'Reliability test'). Another method assessed whether a statistically significant effect could be found, and produced an even bleaker result. Whereas 97% of the original studies found a significant effect, only 36% of replication studies found significant results. The team also found that the average size of the effects found in the replicated studies was only half that reported in the original studies.

There is no way of knowing whether any individual paper is true or false from this work, says Nosek.
However I prefer to be an optimist and say that it turns out that about a third of psychology is actually a science and whereas most science boffins would probably rank it somewhere between tarrot cards and fēng shuǐ on a science scale it actually deserves to be elevated in rank to a status between fēng shuǐ and baking .

You may think science is being tough on poor psychology but remember that this is purported to be a serious area of study at academic institutions, it's one of the most studied degrees at university, and people actually get money to follow lines of scientific inquiry.
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