Researchers: Two-thirds of psychology papers should be distrusted?


What’s hot? What’s rot?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia

Is the field full of “undead” theories? From Ross Pomeroy at RealClearScience:

Science is embattled in a raging replication crisis, in which researchers are unable to reproduce a number of key findings. On the front lines of this conflict is psychology. In a 2015 review of 98 original psychology papers, just 36 percent of attempted replications returned significant results, whereas 97 percent of the original studies did.

“Don’t trust everything you read in the psychology literature,” reporter Monya Baker warned. “In fact, two thirds of it should probably be distrusted.”

How did psychology reach such a sorry state of affairs? Back in 2012, when the replication crisis was just beginning to gain prominence in the popular media, psychology professors Moritz Heene and Christopher Ferguson, respectively from Ludwig Maximilian University and Stetson University, offered a blunt, upsetting hypothesis: The field is sliding towards a state of being unfalsifiable, and its adherents either don’t notice or don’t seem to care.More.

It’s fair to say that psychology and “social sciences” generally are dragging the science brand down. Everyone recognizes that they are in no way objective but no one wants to do anything about it except bellyache that the public “hates science.”

No, the public does not hate science. But the company that the hard sciences keep these days tends to cause many more people to have legitimate doubts. And it hardly helps when science morphs into politics.

See also: Seven myths of social psychology

Even Michael Shermer thinks social science is politically biased


Marchin’, marchin’ for Science
Science marching away from its real problems