3 thoughts on “How Researchers Are Getting It Wrong

  • November 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I’ve often wondered in which ways the over reliance on undergrads for psychological studies would influence the results. You note that undergrads are “rewarded with some sort of credit” for participation. That’s being generous. When I was an undergrad at Michigan in the early 90s any undergrad taking an intro psychology class was *required* to participate in at least 2 studies during the term. If you didn’t participate you failed the class. We were essentially forced to participate in studies if we wanted to get a passing grade. So many of us resented it that we rarely listened closely to the researchers’ instructions and/or we would quickly answer questions or perform tasks more or less at random, just to fulfill our obligation and get on to something more useful. Basically we simply didn’t take it seriously, which makes me question the reliability and internal validity of the studies.

  • November 4, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Interesting point, Paul. I don’t think we were required to participate but I could be wrong. I always found research interesting so I took it seriously but I can definitely see where many people would just blast through it to get it done.

  • November 6, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Very good point Sophie Dembling! As for will power, I fear we’re just about to be innundated with new, improved tips on cultivating gobs and gobs of it. Given that I’m fine with savoring a brownie sundae now and again, but rather uncertain re: navigating the “Nothing Years,” I’d prefer more info on Nothing.


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