Category: Psychology

Design recognition is possible in part because of finite human memory and limited human information

Why is it that humans can recognize the designs of other humans even for token objects like a system of 500 fair coins? Why does life resemble designs? Answer: designs frequently conform to simple organizing principles rather than explicit patterns. Simple organizing principles are a way to understand large amounts of data with our finite […] more

To recognize design is to recognize products of a like-minded process, identifying the real probability in question, Part I

“Take the coins and dice and arrange them in a way that is evidently designed.” That was my instruction to groups of college science students who voluntarily attended my extra-curricular ID classes sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ at James Madison University (even Jason Rosenhouse dropped in a few times). Many of the students were […] more

Remember that psych experiment that showed…

… that most ordinary people would torture others to death if a guy in a lab coat told them to? But was that true? more

Spook n’ awe

Some research is valuable principally for what it tells us about the persons doing and consuming it rather than about its subjects. more

Weak statistical cutoff explains non-reproducible science findings?

By Bayesian standards, 17–25% of social science findings “are probably false,” Johnson thinks, and interestingly, he sees this as a bigger problem than biases and scientific misconduct. more

Ever wonder whether those psych studies that use college students in unrealistic situations are questionable?

The thing is, this “inconsistent and unreliable” stuff has doubtless been known for some time and only now, in the wake of other scandals, do we hear about it. Peer review, where are YOU? more

We promise that if you like your psychiatrist, you can keep him …

… just don’t confuse that with getting any better. Here’s a quick summary of the unsolved problems that made psychiatry’s most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V) so controversial that it may be the last. more


According to a journal of the scandal-plagued psychology field, there is a “subterranean war on science” going on. more

Study in Science could fertilize your lawn

According to Slate, one of the tested articles producing lower empathy than great books was a Smithsonian piece about the potato … another was about air mice (house sparrows). more

Top psychology mag column asks if creationists are sane

It’s one thing for “cool crowd” psychologists to fall on their sword but do they have to do it in public? more

ENCODE foe Dan Graur goes after bad social psych paper

Well, on a globe, lots of paths eventually intersect, and what do we see but Dan Graur attacking the positivity study’s lead author, calling her a “well-known crook”and “positivity scoundrel.” My, my. more

Peer review: US behavioural scientists more likely to exaggerate findings?

Unconscious bias? Publish or perish? Both? more

Science or just common sense?

When it’s really hard to tell, you have to know there is a problem. more

Peer review: Happiness research booming field though no one knows what happiness is?

Wilkinson: It’s as if the precision of the statistical analysis is supposed somehow to compensate for, or help us forget, the imprecision of thought at the foundation of the enterprise. more

Anti-theists are Angry, Narcissistic, Un-agreeable, Anti-social Dogmatists

I didn’t say that, but a comprehensive research study by Christopher Silver, a member of the Chatanooga Freethought association. Silver tried to show not all non-believers fit the negative stereotype of “angry, narcissistic, un-agreeable, anti-social dogmatists”, but in the process highlighted the very group that exactly fits that stereotype, namely the anti-theist (or loosely the […] more

Wisdom of crowds questioned?

Like Grandma said, it’s your life, so you need your own supply of good judgement. There is no real way of outsourcing good judgment over the long term. Just more sophisticated levels of self-deception. more

Psychiatry a science? It has suffered new blow to prestige

Announcement: U.S. National Institute of Mental Health will henceforth ignore all the [psychiatric handbook's] diagnoses in deciding how to fund research more

HAL, the malignant computer, as a figure in the Gospel from Planet X

Typical viewers accept the space alien’s judgements on humanity because they see them as judgements on others, not on themselves. more

The issue of the dark triad in the debates over design — the danger of cossetting an asp of evolutionary materialism-driven cold, manipulative narcissism, machiavellianism and sociopathy from Alcibiades to today

“Cool” is often presented as the iconic, somewhat glamorous state of being calm, collected, in control.  It is often viewed as highly desirable, sexy, balanced, stylish, just plain “right.” Oh, soo, desirable . . . But, beneath the surface of “cool,” there too often lurks a reptilian coldly amoral ferocity that marks all the difference […] more

Hard left trend of social psychologists now documented

The critical problem isn’t just the ideology. It is the huge amount of outright fraud that has plagued the discipline in recent years – in part as a direct result. more

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