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The psychology is in crisis?

A comforting story to hear. The psychologist Amy Cuddy of the Harvard Business School published a few years ago a study had to condense such a balm for the Soul. Who for one Minute in a Power-Pose, feel then in fact more powerful and behave more risk-taking. Who is emitting domination, a sense of self as assertive, so give glad tidings.

Oh, how nice, may have the audience thinking, that sounds like a viable recipe: From now on, we assume expansive postures, and life adapts itself to our Desires. A top message, which was allowed to run Amy Cuddy in a TED Talk, the Video was viewed 50 million Times.

Unfortunately, the reality of simple messages always delivers with a hook: you don't vote. Also in the case of the Power-float the position of the body turns alone one in an alpha animal. Other researchers had tried in the result, in many cases, to repeat the Attempts, it failed to achieve the same results.

The psychology has produced in the last few decades, very much, Yes too much hot air.

it is Well possible that the original had provided a study from the journal "Psychological Science" is a false-positive result, i.e. the existence of an effect near had not disclosed, is in reality, an artifact. The study is considered by many since then, as a further example of the failure of psychology to produce reliable results, and as evidence of a General crisis of the discipline.

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Recently, about 200 psychologists of the results presented, the other symptoms of decline to interpret. In more than 100 laboratories around the world have replicated 28 studies, so the Experiments repeated to verify the results. Only 14 studies showed a similar result as the original. In other cases, there is no reference to the previous experiments, postulated effect. Sometimes even an opposite result. Only half of the for the Many Labs 2 project studies was confirmed, the rest could suffer the fate of the Power-float.

The psychology in crisis? There are two attitudes to these operations to be classified. The "replication crisis" of psychology, on the one hand, as evidence suggests that this has produced in the past decades, very much, Yes too much hot air, and now, in front of a pile of debris.

The other interpretation is more positive: As a discipline has recognized your problems, and submits itself to a process of self-purification, and developed into a model for other Sciences. Perhaps it is here, in fact, as in the unfortunately shaky history of the Power poses: It depends on the inner attitude, and there are good reasons, even a failed replication attempts in psychology to interpret as a positive Signal.

Many researchers have long been aware that there are numerous studies, massive problems.

"The developments of recent years are more characters, as a crisis of life," says Carrie Kovacs, University of Linz, who has worked on Many Labs 2 project. Those who ask around, sounds more confident than disheartened votes. "The positive interpretation finds more and more supporters," says the engineer, Morten Moshagen from the University of Ulm. Researchers Leif Nelson of the University of California in Berkeley sound almost euphoric: you just in the journal "Annual Review of Psychology" published a contribution entitled "The Renaissance of psychology".

The possibility of a rebirth, however, requires first of all a grief case. In psychology, many researchers had long known that there were massive problems, and that many research results were not to be trusted. But it needed a spark that made the simmering discontent to a large fire that could no longer be overlooked.

such A spark of the American psychologist Daryl Bem published a study in 2011 in the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology", one of the Topjournale of the discipline delivered. In it, he seemed to provide evidence for a Form of precognition, a kind of clairvoyance,. Everything was in accordance with the applicable rules, statistically significant, and the reviewer waved the Paper. The study was published.

The First to be heard

The now infamous study by Daryl Bem focused on a fundamental Problem of science: New, surprising and anti-intuitive results can publish more easily. But if someone repeated these studies and reviews, a journal that honors this work with a publication is difficult. The First is heard, the Second is ignored.

all know that one study alone is never definitive truths to light, but only a starting point. One who awakens, unfortunately quickly the feelings of a deceptive certainty. Secure results can only be by being again and again checked. Then slowly something, the approach could be provided with the much to the large notion of "truth".

How important replications are, all know, in psychology and in all the other disciplines.Nevertheless, most researchers shied away long before this ungrateful task.

Poor success rates tried in many attempts

as a psychologist, to review the ludicrous results of Daryl Bem, and as expected, failed, flashed you in a journal after the other: A replication, publishing? How boring!

Finally, psychologists called to Brian Nosek of the University of Virginia is a major project and began using scientists around the world to repeat systematic studies. The success rates were a great many depressing bad.

"I was brought down literally in a personal crisis," says Felix Schönbrodt, University of Munich, is also involved in the Many Labs 2 project. "It makes you wonder then, why you do it." Roughly speaking, it is not out of the frame, that is now also in the Many Labs 2, only half of the Experiments of the original study, comparable results. Whether this is representative for the whole of psychology, no one knows exactly. "But we have become suspicious of our own research literature," says Schönbrodt.

Not automatically worthless

Among the non-replicable studies is just remote Work, but also of the essential ideas of the subject are not. For example, some Priming were Attempts with the same result, repeat. Behind Priming is the idea that tiny, subliminal stimuli can influence behavior: that already thoughts of aging will let people go slower. Or the idea of Ego-Depletion, according to strength of will, finally and after a certain amount of effort, once used up: sounds reasonable, let himself in repetitions but not yet confirm.

Fails, the replication of a study, that does not automatically mean that the original work was worthless. There is also the follow-up study could provide an incorrect result. Especially since the observed effects are in psychology, as a rule, small and of man, as such, tends unfortunately to be a fairly complex, messy and contradictory beings. It is even more important that studies be monitored, and the greater should be the skepticism of supposedly crystal-clear results.

"We are experiencing a paradigm shift."Norbert Tanzer

"The incentives in academia, unfortunately, the wrong", says Norbert Tanzer, University of Graz, which is also involved in the Many Labs 2. Who wants to make academia a career that must, if possible, publish a lot in the most prestigious journals. Most easily, with surprising results, not with boring repetitions, which, however, would be much more important. "But we are experiencing a paradigm shift," says Tanzer.

The psychology of trying to implement what other disciplines demand. Data will be made public so that other researchers can check. Studies are pre-registered, so that scientists are not able to adjust in the course of a working hypothesis and evaluation so that you are more likely to be available for publishing results. Journals provided publications with Labels that indicate any of these Standards, and undertake not to publish replication studies. So it has become harder and harder to find amazing studies in these journals – a good sign.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 16.12.2018, 18:08 PM

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