Post Of The Week – Saturday 2nd July 2016

1) Is Psychology Really In Crisis?

In this article, Keith Laws looks at the replication crisis in Psychology. The article sees the lack of replication of reported by some studies as part of a broader problem with the culture of Psychology. There is a bias in favour of high impact studies whose findings are surprising and counter-intuitive but not entirely robust. Studies which are replicated tend to be the ones which are cheaper and easier to stage. We expect too much of Psychology findings: any hypothesis represents only an approximation to the truth of whatever it is describing. The comments on psychoanalysis and pseudoscience at the bottom of the page are worth a look.

 

2) 7 Scientifically-Proven Ways To Improve Your Memory

Some of the suggestions in this article are familiar. They are linked to well-established research ideas about cues and about rehearsal. Others remind us that the brain is an organ in our body. How well it works depends on what he have eaten and how much we have exercised.

 

3) Why We’re Different

Here is Robert Plomin talking about behavioural genetics. It is almost 20 years since I first used a video with students featuring Plomin arguing that you cannot argue with a piece of DNA. In the article here, he explains how research has moved from candidate gene studies through genome wide association studies through to the sequencing of entire genomes. Plomn explains how much genes tell us and why we need to know. Some of his ideas have been used by people on the political right. He explains here why he is unhappy about that.

 

4) Aaron Beck – Building Rapport

One of the problems with CBT or any psychological therapy is to explain why it works for some people and not for others. This may be connected to the rapport between client and therapist. The therapy works because client and therapist get on well. Here’s Aaron Beck explaining the process.

 

5) New Biography Of HM

We need for our course to think of HM as an example of a case study. The other famous case study, that of Genie, is famously criticised because Genie’s carers were also her researcher. There was nobody independent to speak up on her behalf. This review of the new biography of HM suggests that something similar was happening with him. Suzanne Corkin, who did much of the research into HM and has only just died, was a friend of the family of the man who operated on HM, for less benign reasons than is generally supposed. HM had no legal guardian after his parents died, meaning that there was nobody to give consent indecently of the researchers for the studies which were carried out on him. Corkin is accused of withholding some of the findings about him: he, it is alleged, became her project.

 

6) Life Animated

This film has just been released in the US and has won prizes. It deals with someone with communication difficulties who uses Disney cartoons to interact with the world around him. It should be out here soon.

 

7) Freud: Genius Of The Modern World

You can now see this programme by clicking here

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