Category Archives: psychology

On the poor reproducibility of psychology studies

I wrote a short post yesterday about a huge attempt to answer the question, “What proportion of results reported in psychology journals can be repeated?” This was a massive study in which dozens of psychology researchers simply went and repeated 100 studies published in three respectable experimental psychology journals: Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, […]

Another failure to replicate a much-cited study on free will and cheating

There’s been a lot of press about a study just published in Science in which a large consortium of researchers tried to replicate 100 studies published in psychology journals, and managed to get significant results in only 36% of the replications. Further, investigators who repeated the earlier studies judged subjectively that they had replicated the […]

On the hair-trigger sensitivity of today’s college students, and how to fix it

The cover story for the September issue of The Atlantic is a curious one, a long one, and well worth a read. “The coddling of the American mind” has two authors, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt. Lukianoff is president of FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), and has done great work trying to […]

What do we do about “neurodiversity”?

Reader Su pointed me to a Wikipedia article on “neurodiversity” that begins as follows: The article includes this under the “autism rights movement”: The autism rights movement (ARM) is a social movement within the neurodiversity movement that encourages autistic people, their caregivers and society to adopt a position of neurodiversity, accepting autism as a variation […]

Guest post: Pulling the Plug on Power Posing

JAC: We met Dorsa Amir a while back when she sent us photographs of the Barbary macaques she worked on in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains (she also sent a photo of her orange tomcat Emerson). She recently called my attention to Amy Cuddy’s popular TED video on “power posing”, as Cuddy’s conclusion about hormones and behavior is relevant to Dorsa’s […]

Is it okay to lie about Jesus?

I usually listen to National Public Radio when I’m doing my Saturday-morning shopping, but the thought of having to hear the oliagenous Krista Tippett sometimes drives me away, and today it drove me to an even more religious station—Moody Radio Chicago. It’s a production of the Moody Bible Institute, a famous evangelical Christian seminary and […]

Sam Harris and The Very Bad Wizards

No, it’s not a new novel from Terry Pratchett. If you’re in the mood for discussion about religion, free will, morality, drugs, guilt, blame and vengeance, then you are in luck. Sam Harris joined philosopher Tamler Sommers and psychologist David Pizarro on their December 15th podcast. You can listen either on Sam’s site here or on The Very […]

The only known recording of Sigmund Freud’s voice

It’s always exciting for me to hear a famous person’s voice for the first time, especially when that person was rarely recorded.  I remember when I first found out that there were lots of Dylan Thomas recordings (he’s one of my favorite poets); but I was disappointed when I heard him read his poems in a […]

I had a dream

For years I’ve been afflicted with “academic anxiety dreams,” which go like this: I have an imminent final exam in college, and either haven’t studied for it, can’t find my way to the exam room, or am late for it. These dreams aren’t as frequent as they used to be (which was almost every night) but they still […]

Paul Bloom debunks the “Moral Law argument for God”

I’ve just finished reading Paul Bloom’s short book, Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil, which was published last November by Crown Publishing. Bloom, who works at Yale, is a well-known psychologist, specializing in the development of morality—especially in infants. I recommend his book, especially if you’re interested in how much of human morality is […]

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