Category: Factoid

‘Psychology in Crisis’ is now available

About the Author

Imprint: 2018
Psychology in Crisis
Author: Brian M. Hughes
Publisher: Palgrave, London

ISBN-10: 1352003007
ISBN-13: 978-1352003000

Click here to view on Palgrave Macmillan
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From the cover: Throughout the history of psychology, attempting to objectively measure the highly dynamic phenomenon of human behaviour has given rise to an underappreciated margin of error. Today, as the discipline experiences increasing difficulty in reproducing the results of its own studies, such error not only threatens to undermine psychology’s credibility but also leaves an indelible question: Is psychology actually a field of irreproducible science?

In this thought-provoking new book, author Brian Hughes seeks to answer this very question. In his incisive examination of the various pitfalls that determine ‘good’ or ‘bad’ psychological science – from poor use of statistics to systematic exaggeration of findings – Hughes shows readers how to critique psychology research, enhance its validity and reliability, and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the way psychology research is produced, published, and promulgated in the twenty-first century.

This book is essential reading for students wanting to understand how to better scrutinise psychological research methods and results, as well as practitioners and those concerned with the replication debate.

Psychology in Crisis is an unflinching tour of the challenges of doing psychological science well. Brian Hughes describes six crises facing psychology that could make one think that all is lost. But it is not. At their core, the crises are illustrations of just how hard it is to study human behavior and, simultaneously, why it is worth doing. Hughes closes with a path toward a science that is robust, transparent, and self-skeptical to help accelerate discovery and ensure that psychology meets its potential as a scientific enterprise.” — Professor Brian Nosek, Professor in psychology at the University of Virginia and Executive Director for the Center for Open Science


Contents

Chapter 1 ‘The Same Again, But Different’: Psychology’s Replication Crisis
Chapter 2 ‘Black Is White’: Psychology’s Paradigmatic Crisis
Chapter 3 ‘Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width’: Psychology’s Measurement Crisis
Chapter 4 ‘That Which Can Be Measured’: Psychology’s Statistical Crisis
Chapter 5 ‘We Are The World’: Psychology’s Sampling Crisis
Chapter 6 ‘Fitter, Happier, More Productive…’: Psychology’s Exaggeration Crisis
Chapter 7 From Crisis to Confidence: Dealing with Psychology’s Self-Inflicted Crises

Um Starbucks, could you not?

The Starbucks I go to is now selling magic beans. Well, matcha tea lattes actually, which are like magic beans in the sense that they possess special powers:

Detox the body

High in antioxidants

Helps the immune system

Burns calories

I was particularly intrigued at the last claim. This latte actually “burns calories”.

Which is strange, because a venti serving of said magic tea latte — sorry, matcha tea latte — contains 316 calories all on its own, making it the most calorie-laden tea drink on the menu:

This is pretty much a similar number of calories as in one of those super-sized chocolate chip cookies they sell.

Hmm. Do the chocolate cookies also “burn” calories?

Obviously this is all ridiculous. When you drink a venti matcha tea latte, you consume calories, you don’t burn them. You consume as many calories as you would if you ate a chocolate biscuit.

Physical activity burns calories. Some other things (like stress) can also burn calories, but not always in a good way.

You can’t burn calories by consuming them.

But I guess anything that claims to perform “detox” is bound to be bunkum.

Web sight

Just a quick post today. This one’s especially for the arachnophobes. You know who you are.

A popular scientific explanation for arachnophobia has been that it reflects an evolutionarily endowed avoidance of creatures found to be dangerous in our environment of evolutionary adaptedness (aka EEA). You probably know the drill. Gullible cavepersons discover the hard way that spiders are a no-no and duly fail in their quest to become ancestors; meanwhile, their arachno-skeptic fellow cavepersons choose to leave well enough alone and so live to fight — and, critically, to breed — another day.

Indeed, according to popular sci-comm lore, this all helps explain why modern humans are afraid of (historically dangerous but nowadays harmless) spiders, but much less phobic towards (modern-day and far more killy) cars and guns.

Except, according to (some) scientists, there’s a bit of a snag with the theory: very few killer spiders prowled the Savannah when our prehistoric forebears were taking shape as a species. More than that, lots of more dangerous things (for example, poisonous toads, venomous wasps, and even killer mushrooms) were much more commonly encountered than spiders, but did not result in the evolution of today’s stand-on-the-table wet-your-pants phobias.

So the precise reason for arachnophobia is actually unclear (although anti-spider stereotyping probably plays a role). But one thing’s for sure, there’s just something about spiders that gives people the heebie jeebies.

Maybe it’s this:
Continue reading “Web sight”

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