Psychology Today, which has been to psychology woo what Huffington Post is to medical woo, ironically has an astute columnist calling out the shoddy research methods we have been ridiculing in psychology for years.
Dr. Karen Franklin notes that while the Diederik Stapel incident is the latest, it isn't isolated. Racism in baseball umpires, ESP, if there has been a popular tripe study thrown out to catch headlines, someone in psychology has used lousy pseudoscience to create it.
The problem isn't just in Holland, though they obviously have a high level of concern right now. Dr. Jelte M. Wicherts and Marjan Bakker, both from the University of Amsterdam, did a random sample of 281 psychology papers for statistical errors and found that about half of the papers in high-end journals contained statistical errors and that about 15 percent of all papers had at least one error that changed a reported finding, almost always in opposition to the authors' hypothesis.
In the US, a survey of over 2,000 American psychologists found that 70 percent acknowledged cutting corners in reporting data and a third said they had reported an unexpected finding as predicted from the start and 1 percent admitted to falsifying data. Psychologists who claim their surveys of college students are perfectly valid will have a hard time denying surveys of actual psychologists as 'science'.
But the problem is that it leads to distrust of applied psychology fields, like in forensic psychology - and that is where Franklin has the highest level of concern about the impact of fraud in the woo parts of the field.
Psychology Rife with Inaccurate Research Findings by Karen Franklin, Ph.D., Psychology Today.
Psychology Rife with Inaccurate Research Findings
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