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I Predict A Riot
Almost a year ago I posted a blog post titled 'A Yale Professor’s One Man Rampage Against PloS, the Internet and a Belgian Research Group', covering the case of a respected researcher who became very upset about a study replicating his work and finding a negative outcome. This may have only been a foreshock, one of the first casualties of a new wave of replications that is beginning to shake the foundations of the field of psychology.
Psychology is historically a field in which replications are rare. Sought after journals with a high impact factor typically refuse to publish replications and until recently, there has been little to no incentive for researchers to conduct research which will not further their careers and likely would not even ever get read. Thus negative findings have vanished from existence while positive findings - which may be the exception rather than the rule, receive all the attention. This is a problem that has become known as the File Drawer Effect in the world of psychology. Ben Goldacre’s recent book Bad Pharma discusses the prevalence of the same problem in medicine - where the problem has extremely grave implications. I can't recommend this book more highly, you can help fix the problem in medicine by signing a petition which already has 20,000 signatures, calling for all clinical trial data be published.
Back to psychology, a growing collective of researchers working on The Reproducibility Project, have been stepping forward to replicate studies in the field of social psychology. On Thursday The Chronicle published a fantastic article discussing the situation. The article appears to cite the headline of my blogpost describing the "one-man rampage" and includes an interview with the researcher involved - who has now taken down his offending blog post (sadly also consigning to the history books - or not as the case may be - the extensive discourse between researchers regarding the study, that appeared in the comments under the post). Another article in The Chronicle, published last year describes the background to the replication situation.
An extensive special issue of the journal Psychological Science titled a 'Special Section on Replicability in Psychological Science: A Crisis of Confidence?' (still open access) describes the situation in academic detail, referring to the "acrimonious dust-up in science magazines and blogs" and asks "is there currently a crisis of confidence in psychological science reflecting an unprecedented level of doubt among practitioners about the reliability of research findings in the field?" (Pashler et al, 2012) [PDF]. Fellow anonymous blogger Neuroskeptic provides an enlightening humorous explanation of the problems currently affecting much of the world of science:
The special issue concludes with a report from John Ioannidis on "Why Science Is Not Necessarily Self-Correcting" [PDF] citing as an example, how the nonsense science of phrenology dominated neuropsychology in the 19th century. Ioannidis refers to the Library of Alexandria, the largest library of the ancient world, which was destroyed more than five times by Roman wars, Christian mobs and Arab conquests - and poses the startling question: Could it be possible that information equivalent in size to the library of Alexandria disappears every few minutes?
"Currently, there are petabytes of scientific information produced on a daily basis and millions of papers are being published annually. In most scientific fields, the vast majority of the collected data, protocols, and analyses are not available and/or disappear soon after or even before publication. If one tries to identify the raw data and protocols of papers published only 20 years ago, it is likely that very little is currently available. Even for papers published this week, readily available raw data, protocols, and analysis codes would be the exception rather than the rule. The large majority of currently published papers are mostly synoptic advertisements of the actual research. One cannot even try to reproduce the results based on what is available in the published word."
According to Ioannidis, we are currently passing through an extraordinary age of perverse incentives in science. The prime motive of researchers is placed firmly on new discoveries and chasing statistical significance at all cost. Ioannidis describes a nightmare scenario, "Planet F345, Andromeda Galaxy, Year 3045268" in which the entire process of science is distorted by numerous perverse incentives placed on researchers by dictatorial journal publishers and financial officers "recruited after successful careers as real estate agents, managers in supermarket chains, or employees in other corporate structures where they have proven that they can cut cost and make more money". Ioannidis proposes that if we do not change our ways, then planet F345 in the year 3045268 is where we are headed. Ioannidis goes as far as to speculate whether there is a "chance that wrong and inefficient medicine is currently becoming a major disaster for humans and human civilization". Ioannidis suggests there is now "an excess of statistically significant results in the literature indicative of strong biases" with "the vast majority of analyses in psychological science fine tuned to obtain a desired result". Could it really be the case that much of the science on which we base our medicine and our understanding of the mind is founded on inflated results based on a wild goose chase for statistical significance, and that these results could not be replicated?
We will soon see the publication of the wave of replications which are being conducted by the coalition of researchers participating in the Open Science Framework's Reproducibility Project and we will soon discover the proportion of papers - all taken from leading social psychology journals - that replicate successfully. In medicine Ben Goldacre's campaign for the publication of clinical trial data has gained the support of the Royal Statistical Society, The British Library, PLoS, The British Medical Journal, Cochrane, The Medical Research Council, BioMed Central... the list goes on. If you ever plan to take advantage of evidence based medicine in your life - that means you - you'd do well to sign the petition.
If you are a researcher worried by these developments, you can cover your back by publicly determining your sample size, variables and conditions before starting your trial, properly detailing your methods so your work can be replicated accurately and publishing your trial data in open repositories such as the Open Science Framework and FigShare so your data can be independently analysed and potentially replicated; and please, please consider publishing your results in open access journals so the rest of the world can read your hard work. We may be approaching the dawn of a fantastic new open era of psychology, science and medicine but this is only likely to happen on a broad scale if institutions address the incentive structures researchers work under.
Learn more about the movement to replicate science:
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Humans are particularly prone to shiver when a group does or thinks the same thing at the same time.
A few years ago, I proposed that the feeling of cold in one's spine, while for example watching a film or listening to music, corresponds to an event when our vital need for cognition is satisfied.
Certain colors are globally linked to certain feelings, the study reveals.
- Color psychology is often used in marketing to alter your perception of products and services.
- Various studies and experiments across multiple years have given us more insight into the link between personality and color.
- The results of a new study spanning 6 continents (30 nations) shows universal correlations between colors and emotions around the globe.
The root of color psychology<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9e40cf62fa8922fcca6c57e2fcb215b6"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OM4fXB23pCQ?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>There is a very likely chance you've even been "fooled" by color marketing in the past, or you've chosen one product over another subconsciously due to colors that were designed to influence your emotions.<br></p><p>Companies that want to be known for being dependable often use blue in their logos, for example (Dell, HP, IBM). Companies that want to be perceived as fun and exciting go for a splash of orange (Fanta, Nickelodeon, even Amazon). Green is associated with natural, peaceful emotions and is often used by companies like Whole Foods and Tropicana. </p><p><strong>Your favorite color says a lot about your personality. </strong></p><p>Various studies and experiments across multiple years (<a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49595886_Personality_Traits_and_Colour_Preferences" target="_blank">2010</a>, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jopy.12087" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2014</a>, <a href="http://oaji.net/articles/2015/1170-1448038739.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2015</a>, and more recently in <a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology-2795824#modern-research-on-color-psychology" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2019</a>) have given us more insight into the link between your personality and your favorite color.</p><p>Red, for example, is considered a bold color and is associated with feelings such as excitement, passion, anger, danger, energy, and love. The personality traits of this color might be someone who is bold, a little impulsive, and who loves adventure. </p><p>Orange, on the other hand, is considered representative of creativity, happiness, and freedom. The personality traits of this color can be fun, playful, cheerful, nurturing, and productive. Read more about color psychology and personalities <a href="https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/color-personality-psychology?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2" target="_self">here</a>.</p>
Study reveals which colors best suit which emotions around the globe<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDYzMTk5OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODc4OTg5OH0.bY-pu-MFNivdJLDJuBp9TBKrhwuy7hngUa1aIWxQMVw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C93%2C0%2C94&height=700" id="33fff" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1a5d7bb00dac94bd6201616789fb4882" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="concept of color psychology how colors make us feel color emotions" />
Certain colors are globally ties to certain emotions, the study reveals.
Image by agsandrew on Shutterstock<p>In this particular survey, participants were asked to fill out an online questionnaire which involved assigning 20 emotions to 12 different color terms. They were also asked to specify the intensity with which they associated the color term with the emotion.</p><p><strong>Certain colors are globally linked to certain emotions, the study reveals.</strong></p><p>The results of this study showed a few definite correlations between colors and emotions throughout the globe. Red, for example, is the only color that is strongly associated with both negative (anger) and positive (love) feelings. Brown, on the other end of the spectrum, is the color that triggers the fewest emotions globally.<br></p><p>The color white is closely associated with sadness in China, while purple is what is closely associated with sadness in Greece. This can be traced back to the roots of each culture, with white being worn at funerals in China and dark purple being the Greek Orthodox Church's color of mourning. </p><p>Yellow is more associated with joy, specifically in countries that see less sunshine. Meanwhile, its association with joy is weaker in areas that have greater exposure to sunshine. </p><p><a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200910150247.htm" target="_blank">According to Dr. Oberfeld-Twistel</a>, it is difficult to say exactly what the causes for global similarities and differences are. "There is a range of possible influencing factors: language, culture, religion, climate, the history of human development, the human perceptual system."</p>