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Posts uit januari, 2013 tonen

The Preliminary Results are in!

U pdate February 3, 2013, I removed the figure for reasons explained in my next post . However, I wanted to keep the text of this post to provide a documentation of the process. I'm trying to be open as well as accurate. Holy cow! The data are in already!  As I explained in my previous post , I was interested to see what the effects of amusing titles are on the perception of the results of studies published over the years in Psychological Science . Subjects read the titles and the associated abstracts of twelve articles and indicated their confidence and interest in the results of these studies as presented in the abstracts. They used an 11-point scale to do so, with 0 being extremely low and 10 extremely high confidence and interest in the findings. The preliminary results are in! It only took about 5 hours to collect the data. I was worried that the Mechanical Turk subjects would find the task too difficult and/or boring. Instead, they seemed to like it quite

Proposing a study on the effects of amusing titles

Update 1 after feedback from @hansijzerman on Twitter Update 2 after comments from Thomas Schubert (see below) and Steve Fiore (via Facebook) Final update after comments from Eefje Rondeel and Michał Parzuchowski (see below) as well as some further thinking on my part. Final final update . After a test-run, I decided to present titles first and then title-plus-abstract. This makes it harder to ignore the titles and provides me with RTs on the titles.  In my last post  I showed that amusing titles are on the rise in Psychological Science . It reached its highest proportion of amusing titles (PAT) in 2012: .41. Similar PATs can be found in recent volumes of  Social Psychological and Personality Science  and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology . I am interested to see what the effects of these titles are on the impression that readers have of the associated research. I am therefore proposing to examine this question empirically in an online experiment. In doi

Amusing Titles in Psychological Science II: What is your PAT?

  It may only be a matter of time before the pun rises again says the BBC . Is that time already upon us in psychological science? Let’s see. In my previous post , I provided a qualitative analysis of amusing titles in Psychological Science . Here is the quantitative part. I counted the number of amusing titles per year in the journal in the past decade— least, that’s what I said yesterday. But then I got busy and analyzed all volumes of Psych Science instead. There were some issues I had to face. First, as Psych Science was trying to find its form, it featured article types like general articles, feature reviews, commentaries letters to the editor, and so on. I limited my analysis to empirical articles, called research reports and research articles (although there was a period in which they were called “original articles”). Second, I am a cognitive psychologist and therefore less familiar with social, clinical, and developmental psychology. This is somewhat

Amusing Titles in Psychological Science

I recently wrote a post about amusing article titles, pointing to  a tendency in the current psychological literature (and proposal as well in other fields) to blur the boundaries between scientific and popular scientific discourse. Here I want to discuss this trend in more detail. I want to start by saying that I’m not immune to this trend myself. I managed to resist it until 2004 but more than half of my 2012 articles had “amusing” titles. In fact, my co-authors snuck two very similar titles up on me: Out of Sight out of Mind and Out of Mind out of Sight . I also had Spreading the Words and Language in the Balance . In my defense, I only was responsible for the last one. In my previous post, I talked about the reasons for using amusing titles. The main one is the pressure to make your research relevant to a broader audience. But is it true that amusing titles are on the rise? I take Psychological Science as my test case, examining amusing article

Overly Amusing Article Titles

As the recent hashtags #overlyhonestmethods and  #overlyhonestreviews show, scientists have a great sense of humor. This humor is not just evident on Twitter. It is also transparent in the titles of many journal articles. Two favorites of mine are: What's "up"with God? Vertical space as a representation of the divine. Smells like clean spirit: nonconscious effects of scent on cognition and behavior And here is a very recent one not from psychology (I hope you are not eating): An In-Depth Analysis of a Piece of Shit: Distribution of Schistosoma mansoni and Hookworm Eggs in Human Stool I’m not sure I have actually read the two psychology articles (I am sure I didn’t read the fecal one) but their titles certainly have stuck with me. Does having an amusing title may make an article more memorable and therefore more likely to be cited? According to the availability heuristic the answer is yes but the data suggest otherwise. A citation analysis

Opening the Floodgates?

Well, here it is, our call for proposals regarding pre-registered replication studies on cognition. When I say “our” I hasten to add that we stole and adapted the text of this call, with their permission, from Brian Nosek and Daniël Lakens who are guest editing a special issue of Social Psychology . Their original text is a great model for how replication studies should be solicited. It might become a standard feature of many journals in the years to come.             Our special issue will be an interesting experiment, the results of which we are awaiting with some trepidation. How many submissions can we expect? No idea. Are we opening the floodgates or will it be a slow trickle? Only time will tell.  We take courage in our Dutch heritage (and I don’t mean Dutch courage). Taming the waters is in our blood. Call for Proposals Special Issue of Frontiers in Cognition “Replications of Important Results in Cognition” Guest Editors: René Zeelen

Pre-registration at the journal desk

I was recently asked to co-guest-edit a special issue of Frontiers in Cognition on “failures to replicate.” I liked the idea of a special issue. I just didn’t think it had the right angle. What if someone had “successfully” replicated a study, would they not be allowed to submit? I was worried this would create a kind of reverse file drawer problem. Only if the replication was unsuccessful was it a candidate for publication. Others have expressed the same concern . If you think about it, it makes sense. Nonreplications are in a superficial sense more informative than replications.  Replications are like someone in the desert yelling: “Look over there, an oasis” followed by someone else yelling “Yes, I see it too.” A nonreplication is like the second person yelling “No, that’s not an oasis, it’s a mirage.”    At a deeper level, however, both are informative. The replication gives us greater confidence in the presence of an oasis. After all, how can we stake our live