Psychology's Bias

A new meta-analysis shows a large majority of subjects for psychology experiments have been U.S. undergraduates, a population from which one should be wary of making generalized conclusions.

A new meta-analysis shows a large majority of subjects for psychology experiments have been U.S. undergraduates, a population from which one should be wary of making generalized conclusions. "A group from the University of British Columbia recently published an enormous meta-analysis on the danger of assuming that all of humanity closely matches the behaviors of 20-something college students. They cite evidence that between 2003 and 2007 undergrads made up 80 percent of study subjects in six top psychology journals, and that 96 percent of all psychology samples come from countries that make up only 12 percent of the world’s population. They call this the WEIRD population—Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic—and say that they are the least representative populations one could find for generalizing about humans."

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