Talk by Prof. Gregory Francis on "Cargo Cult Thinking in Psychological Science"
Prof. Gregory Francis (Purdue University, USA)
"Cargo Cult Thinking in Psychological Science"
Time: 15.11.13, 12:00 - 14:00
Venue: Room 1305 in Leopoldstr. 13
Recent controversies have questioned the quality of scientific practice in the field of psychology, but these concerns are often based on anecdotes and seemingly isolated cases. This talk describes an objective
analysis of the relationship between empirical data and theoretical conclusions for a large set of articles published in the journal Psychological Science between 2009-2012. When empirical studies succeed at a rate much higher than is appropriate for the estimated effects and sample sizes, readers should suspect that null findings were suppressed, the experiments or analyses were improper, or that the theory does not properly follow from the data. These problems indicate that some psychological scientists misunderstand statistical reasoning across
experiments and thereby invalidly apply scientific principles and methods. Such “cargo cult thinking” suggests that some recent reform efforts are unlikely to improve scientific practice and also suggests solutions that are easily implemented.