Monday Miscellany: Psi, Progress, Psychotherapy Research

1.  I had “write about rejection sensitivity” on my list of blog topics. Fortunately, this has already been taken care of!

2. Salvaging psychotherapy research: a manifesto.

3. When I give the long-form version of what I want to do with my life, it involves working for Veteran’s Affairs. This is a good portion of why.

4. I’ve cited this before, but as I play around in Open Science Framework, I want to pull up this comment about replication of research in psychology:

“Science is all about ideals, but scientists are humans. I know there are those who disagree, but I believe that pragmatic solutions mean taking that fact into account. If replication were perfect, then you could ignore people’s human sentiments and just do the science. But replication is not perfect. There are a lot of ways to get replications wrong, and we’re a long way from perfecting the process. We have to make allowances for that and not pretend like we’re just doing science — we are affecting people’s lives.”

5. So, how exactly do you determine power for replications anyways?

“It is common for researchers running replications to set their sample size assuming the effect size the original researchers got is correct.”

…uh oh.

6. Can people tell if they’re being watched by an unseen observer? A believer and a skeptic of parapsychology teamed up to design an experimental paradigm they could both agree on. And….the results were so horribly mixed. The parts of the experiment that the skeptic (Richard Wiseman) ran showed no psi. The parts of the experiment that the believer ran showed psi. And…the discussion section is a hilarious series of contortions that look like:

“Finally, it is also possible that both RW and MS used their own psi abilities to create the results he/she desired. This interpretation, if genuine, supports past research which suggests that ‘successful experimenters’ (i.e., those that consistently obtain significant effects in psi studies) outperform ‘unsuccessful’ ones on a variety of psi tasks (see Palmer, 1986 for a review of the literature supporting this notion).”

7. Sometimes all it means to have ‘coped with‘ something is to have lived through it.

8. Progress: rarely linear, often bittersweet.

“The ostensibly controversial design was, to a certain extent, protected by greater concerns about the project. “E.A. was more worried that The Sims would flop and hurt the SimCity franchise,” said Barrett. “It was also a different time; people weren’t so violently for or against same-sex relationships. They didn’t go out of the way to find it and react to it. The right-wing press didn’t have the platform they have today to scream. There was no Twitter, no Facebook, no blogs. I kinda hoped people would come at night with pitchforks and torches. But it never happened.”

The controversy came this year, when Nintendo released, in the West, its Sims-esque video game Tomodachi Life, a game in which same-sex relationships are forbidden.”

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