lions and tigers and academic writing…oh my

  Here’s a familiar story: A scientist sits down to write a manuscript and, rather than creating a crisp and coherent presentation of information, meanders aimlessly for several pages instead. This story is a tragedy. How can we avoid such tragic situations? Try thinking of your manuscripts like a great novel or a blockbuster movie.Continue reading “lions and tigers and academic writing…oh my”

self-editing your writing

If you have a draft of your manuscript, congratulations! You have slain the “monster of blank pages,” the fearsome beast that intimidates even the most capable of writers. I know you are tired, perhaps even exhausted. Rest, for now, but do not stop here. Your hero’s journey is not complete, you are merely at theContinue reading “self-editing your writing”

the publication recipe

From 8 o’clock in the morning until 5 o’clock in the evening an undergrad research assistant would sit behind the angular metal desk inside of the door of the Harris Aggression Lab. Their job was basically that of a human turnstile: They shepherded the parade of participants through the procedures of the lab’s latest studyContinue reading “the publication recipe”

Improving my writing through reading: Simons (2014)

Linda Skitka recently shared a great exercise for helping students improve their writing.* This “reverse engineering” exercise sounds helpful. I can feel when writing is executed well and when it is not; however, I have never tried to verbalize why the writing is executed well. Thus, before asking my students to complete this exercise, I thought I wouldContinue reading “Improving my writing through reading: Simons (2014)”

Scientific Theories and Improvised Explosive Devises

Dr. Harris was a skillful instructor. He explained abstract concepts in a way that made his students feel as if they were part of an intelligent conversation rather than pupil-shaped furniture in the room being lectured to. His most impassioned lecture was on testing scientific theories: To the students in the WSU Social Psychology program,Continue reading “Scientific Theories and Improvised Explosive Devises”

Which behavior is more aggressive?

First, some mental stretching If you compared two aggressive behaviors, would you be able to tell which one was more aggressive? Let’s test your intuition. Consider these two scenarios. (a) Person B insults Person A. Person A punches Person B in the face. (b) Person 2 insults Person 1. Person 1 punches Person 2 in the face.Continue reading “Which behavior is more aggressive?”

Is this effect smaller than the SESOI? Evaluating the hostile priming effect in the Srull & Wyer (1979) RRR

I was recently involved with a Registered Replication Report (RRR) of Srull & Wyer (1979). In this RRR, several independent labs collected data to test the “hostile priming effect”: An effect where exposing participants to stimuli related to the construct of hostility causes participants to subsequently judge ambiguous information as being more hostile. The resultsContinue reading “Is this effect smaller than the SESOI? Evaluating the hostile priming effect in the Srull & Wyer (1979) RRR”

"Open Science" is risky

Open science practices are “risky”. Not in the sense that they are potentially dangerous, but in the sense that they make it easier for you to be wrong. You know, theoretically “risky”. Theoretical progress is made by examining the logical implication of a theory, deducing a prediction from the theory, making observations, and then comparingContinue reading “"Open Science" is risky”

Multi-Site Collaborations Provide Robust Tests of Theories

According to Popper (1959) “We can say of a theory, provided it is falsifiable, that it rules out, or prohibits, not merely one occurrence, but always at least one event” (p. 70). I argue that, all else being equal, multi-site collaborations more robustly test theories than studies done at a single site at a single time byContinue reading “Multi-Site Collaborations Provide Robust Tests of Theories”