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Do Social Psychologists cheat more often?

August 5, 2012

I was in Australia all of July.  Queensland (Wonga Beach, and then Mooloolaba).  Very lovely.  As I (obnoxiously) tell all, nicer weather in the middle of the winter than this current summer in Sweden.  Though I carried with me all of my computational devices, my access to the internet consisted of early morning cappucinos in a beach cafe that provided free wi-fi.  Free wi-fi, no explicit request for purchase, but I did anyway, because, you know, reciprocity.  (Oh, that goes back to the teaching part of my job, where I teach influence, in Robert Cialdini’s instantiation). Emjays, btw.  Excellent.  (But, then, coffee in Australia tends to generally be excellent)

But, I see the work on fixing science has continued without me.  Right around the time I was leaving, the Uri Simonsohn work was coming to light.  (Neuroskeptic linked his paper on his blog).  And, as I settled in my armchair, looking out at the rising sun over Mooloolabay bay, I read about the Lawrence Sanna resignation due to Simonsohn’s sleuthing.

Of course, a whole bunch of the recent issues of questionable practices has involved Social Psychologists.  I could be mildly biased, since that is where I am also (kind of) situated.  Now, I do think there is issues in Social Psychology, that Social Psychologists need to address, and address vigourously.  (And, as it is, they are, in the Open Science Framework.  If you don’t subscribe to their e-feed, go do so.  Made for good reading when I got back, and this is important work).

But, Vaughan Bell linked in this Blog (Psychological Statistics) in twitter, which discusses this.  And, as he quotes, chance is lumpy.  Fraud happens in many places.

Plus, new blog to subscribe to!

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