Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ I’m so sorry for psychology’s loss, whatever it is

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Suppose, says Adam Mastroianni, you removed all contributions to psychology authored by two professors recently accused of fabricating data. What would change? Now these are really famous professors, with tens of thousands of citations. But nothing would change. "If you think of psychology as a forest, we haven't felled a tree or even broken a branch. We've lost a few apples." Why is that? Mastroianni argues that it's because three major paradigms in psychology -  "humans are biased," "situations matter," and "pick a noun" - are ultimately empty. They are "unfalsifiable and inexhaustible... we're never going to run out of biases, situations, or words." But even though we can keep piling on data, nothing changes. They don't actually explain anything. "Catching the cheaters won't bring our field back to life," he argues. "Only new ideas can do that." I don't disagree.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
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Last Updated: May 22, 2024 5:28 p.m.

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