Archive for the ‘psychology’ Category
We have a second retraction from a group of neuroscience researchers in Belgium who discovered fatal errors in their work on how the brain sets about the task of reading written language. Spoiler alert: Turns out those errors weren’t errors after all.
As we reported back in May, the group, from the University of Leuven, was unable to replicate certain fMRI findings in a November 2012 article in Neuroscience. At the time, Hans P. Op de Beeck, who led the group, told us: Read the rest of this entry »
Willibrord Weijmar Schultz, the Groningen sex researcher (and Ig Nobel winner) who misused the 1985 thesis of an American scholar, and the work of another researcher, in at least five published articles, has tallied another retraction in the affair, his sixth.
As we reported earlier, Schultz had been cleared of plagiarism but found to have abused the work (in an “unintended and unknowing” fashion, we’re told) of one Diana Jeffrey, by taking passages from her dissertation without acknowledgement. These articles are pretty long in the tooth, having been published in the 1990s.
The latest, in the Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, appeared in 1992. Titled “Sexual rehabilitation after gynecological cancer treatment,” Schultz wrote it with a colleague H.B.M. Van de Wiel, whose name shows up on the other retractions, too.
We’ve been alerted to a third retracted paper, and a retracted book chapter, for Stefano Ramello, a self-styled “independent researcher” into sexual identity.
Turns out there wasn’t so much independence after all.
The article, “Same sex acts involving older men. An ethnographic study,” had appeared in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Aging Studies. According to the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »
“Just significant” results have been around for decades in psychology — but have gotten worse: study
Last year, two psychology researchers set out to figure out whether the statistical results psychologists were reporting in the literature were distributed the way you’d expect. We’ll let the authors, E.J. Masicampo, of Wake Forest, and Daniel Lalande, of the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, explain why they did that:
The psychology literature is meant to comprise scientific observations that further people’s understanding of the human mind and human behaviour. However, due to strong incentives to publish, the main focus of psychological scientists may often shift from practising rigorous and informative science to meeting standards for publication. One such standard is obtaining statistically significant results. In line with null hypothesis significance testing (NHST), for an effect to be considered statistically significant, its corresponding p value must be less than .05.
When Masicampo and Lalande looked at a year’s worth of three highly cited psychology journals — the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; and Psychological Science — from 2007 to 2008, they found: Read the rest of this entry »
Second Life is a virtual reality site in which you can “Experience endless surprises and unexpected delights in a world imagined and created by people like you.” Only Nikolaos Pellas, of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, is now having two papers on virtual reality retracted because he apparently experienced endless surprises and unexpected delights in a world imagined and created by other people.
…the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health.
The paper made quite a splash. It has been cited 360 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, and formed the basis of a 2009 book by Fredrickson, Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3 to 1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life.
But something didn’t sit right with Nick Brown, a psychology grad student at the University of East London. He found the paper’s claims wanting, and contacted Alan Sokal — yes, that Alan Sokal, who published a fake paper in Social Text in 1996. Sokal agreed, and he, Brown, and Harris Friedman published a critique of the paper in July of this year in American Psychologist. Its abstract: Read the rest of this entry »
Last month, we reported on a retraction in Judgment and Decision Making that said “problems were discovered with the data.” At the time, corresponding author Wen-Bin Chiou, of National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan, told us that a research assistant who had since left the lab hadn’t kept questionnaires used in the research, making replication impossible.
But it turns out that wasn’t the whole story of “Shame for money: Shame enhances the incentive value of economic resources,” to put it charitably. We’ve now heard from people familiar with the case and can provide a fuller account.
The problems with the paper, according to our source, Read the rest of this entry »