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required reading for research methods students…

March 13, 2012

Subtitle: The Challenge of Thinking Scientifically

A study is completed. It is published. It gets cited a whole lot. Obviously, it is a done deal – science has once again illuminated some dark corner of our world… Or maybe not. I came across a post by Dan Simons that was intended to focus on the relatively simple issue of why the replication of a particular experiment might fail or not. Click on the link – read the post. It is a well articulated explanation of how one might think about results from a replication – reasons it might confirm the original experiment, and reasons it might not (btw – the post responds to a recent squabble about a published replication failure – you can read about that particular brouhaha here). Understanding how you can interpret a replication is important.

Now, read the comments. The post is good, but the comments for this particular post provide a wonderful glimpse of how psychological scientists think about a range of issues:

I think I’ll just use the comment section from the post as the outline for my Research Methods class next semester. Or maybe have the students critically respond to it as a part of their final exam…

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