Monday, August 26, 2013

Psychology bias

Americans identify as conservatives much more than liberal, according to polls:
Thus far in 2009, 40% of Americans interviewed in national Gallup Poll surveys describe their political views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal.
While university professors tend to be liberal, psychologists are among the most extreme, with 84% liberal and 8% conservative. Psychology research shows the most bias, because it is the easiest to fake results.

Two of the most distinguished psychology professors, Diederik Stapel and Marc Hauser, have been disgraced for faking research. The field still worships Sigmund Freud, who was also a scientific fraud who faked his research and built his career on bogus claims. The current Nature magazine reports:
For many psychologists, the clearest sign that their field was in trouble came, ironically, from a study about premonition. Daryl Bem, a social psychologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, showed student volunteers 48 words and then abruptly asked them to write down as many as they could remember. Next came a practice session: students were given a random subset of the test words and were asked to type them out. Bem found that some students were more likely to remember words in the test if they had later practised them. Effect preceded cause.
The NY Times just reported that psychiatrist Robert Spitzer has published an apology for one of his research papers. He has been called "arguably the most influential psychiatrist of the 20th century", but he is horrified that his work has been cited by social conservatives. No one has shown that the research was wrong, but only that it answers “Not a very interesting question” and that it does not advance the political causes of his fellow leftists.

Pychologists do not have the beliefs and values that other Americans have. The family court should not use them as experts because they just apply their prejudices instead of any genuine expertise. They are quacks. And their prejudices are anti-American and anti-family.


Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for the whistleblowers. Otherwise there'd be absolutely no way to know that those studies had been falsified. Other researchers would believe the results were settled science, like string theory. There needs to be a blue-ribbon task force to propose stronger legislation which would eradicate such behavior in the next generation.

paulmurray said...

Americans identify as conservative, but when you actually ask about their political position, they tend to be tax the rich, medicare for all, "live and let live" attitude to gays, and so on. They tend to *vote* conservative, but to actually *be* liberal.
Getting these people to vote against their own beliefs and their best interests is a triumph of propaganda.

Greg said...

I think you are overstating the case when you say psychology still worships Freud (at least in the anglosphere)

Firstly, he was a psychiatrist not a psychologist.

Secondly, I think the consensus is that he was good at hypothesis-generation. But his methods were non-scientific. He needed to conduct properly designed experiments to show that his theories were true.