ABSTRACTPossibly, the replication crisis constitutes the most important problem in psychology. It calls into question whether psychology is a science. Existing conceptualizations of replicability depend on effect sizes; the larger the population effect size, the greater the probability of replication. This is problematic and contributes to the replication crisis. A different conceptualization, not dependent on population effect sizes, is desirable. The proposed solution features the closeness of sample means to their corresponding population means, in both the original and replication experiments. (...) If the researcher has specified the sampling precision desired, it is possible to calculate the probability of replication, prior to data collection, and without dependence on the population effect size or expected population effect size. In addition, it is not necessary to know population means or standard deviations, nor sample means or standard deviations, to employ the proposed a priori way of thinking about... (shrink)
Psychologists take two propositions for granted. Specifically, empirical verification of predictions derived from a theory support that the theory is more likely to be true and support that additional predictions derived from the theory have an increased probability of being sustained if subjected to empirical testing. In contrast, I argue that both propositions depend strongly on whether auxiliary assumptions are taken into account. When auxiliary assumptions are not taken into account, the first proposition is valid but the second is not. (...) When auxiliary assumptions are taken into account, the first proposition is not valid, and the second proposition encounters additional problems. I use Venn diagrams and Bayesian principles to demonstrate these conclusions. (shrink)
Rodrigues and Banzato related the validity of diagnostic categories to their meaningfulness and I wish to explore this relation further without attempting to make criticisms. To commence, if a diagnostic category is to be valid, it must mean something.
The notion of Socratic Note Taking is introduced to enhance students’ learning from assigned readings. SNT features students asking questions and answering their own questions while doing the readings. To test the effectiveness of SNT, half the students from two sections of a philosophy course were assigned SNT on alternating weeks. Quizzes each week alternated between the two classes as either high or low stakes in a counterbalanced format. The design was a 2 x 2 x 2 within-participants factorial. On (...) ten-point quizzes, SNT made an average difference of 1.22 points. Furthermore, the results indicate that SNT is particularly effective with weaker students, e.g., we found a nearly three-point increase on ten-point quizzes for the weakest students. (shrink)
In two studies, we predicted and found that inferences about motive and character influence intentionality attributions about foreseeable consequences of action (i.e., side effects). First, we show that inferences about intentionality are greater for good side effects than bad side effects when a target person's character is described positively. In Study 2, we manipulated information about a target person and found that inferences about intentionality were greater when side effects were consistent with a target person's character and motives. Overall, our (...) data cast doubt on the generality of the side-effect effect. We discuss our findings and their implications for future research on intentionality and social perception. (shrink)
Oulis pointed out that there is a great deal of interest in specific mechanisms relating to mental disorders and that these mechanisms should play a role in classification. Although specific mechanisms are important, more attention should be given to general theories. The following example from Salmon illustrates the difference.
In their interesting article, Trevors and Saier strongly distinguished between science and mysticism. I quote the last two sentences of their conclusion: "Science has allowed some humans to understand the universe at a profound level. Other have decided that the best way to understand the universe is through supernatural entities." Although there is a difference between the two, the difference is less clear than Trevors and Saier make it out to be.
Gaetano commented on the problems that exist in diagnosing schizophrenia and argues that more effort should be devoted to understanding relevant subjective experiences. I am not convinced that this is necessarily so. I have argued previously that diagnosis of clinical disorders is unlikely to work well in the absence of a theory on which the diagnostic system can be based. At present, there is very little theory concerning schizophrenic disorders, or at least very little theory that elicits wide agreement and (...) has definitive empirical support. (shrink)
Consumer autonomy is a fundamental topic for marketing ethics scholars. Nonetheless, autonomy’s philosophical treatment may have compromised its conceptual clarity. After reviewing the relevant ethics literature on consumer autonomy, the benefits of formally defining consumer autonomy are illustrated, and a novel formalization is adapted from potential performance theory mathematics. The goal is to transfigure a hitherto amorphous topic via a mathematical formalization that defines true autonomy, actual autonomy, reliability of wills, and reliability of product choice. The crucial and surprising result: (...) an action that decreases true autonomy can increase actual autonomy if that action engenders a sufficient increase in one or both types of reliability. Relating the insights from the formalization to the long-standing debates in consumer autonomy suggests fruitful avenues for future research. (shrink)
Di Francesco and Marraffa performed a well-organized exploration of the literature concerned with consciousness. They described how interest in the issue dates back to ancient Greek philosophers, and continues to be of interest. Researchers invest impressive amounts of resources into investigating the issue. My goal is to question whether this is optimal.
Philosophers and scientists agree that an important characteristic of theories is their internal coherence. I propose that there is a particular type of internal coherence, termed “unit coherence,” that has received insufficient attention from psychologists. When psychologists theorize about the mechanisms that bring about human behavior, the units in which the variables are expressed need to be consistent throughout the theory; this is unit coherence. The theory of reasoned action is an example of a unit incoherent theory. I explain why (...) this is so and also show how the theory can be made to be unit coherent. I also include examples of unit coherent theories to demonstrate that they are possible to have in psychology. Although the concept of unit coherence is somewhat subtle, it has surprising and far-reaching consequences. (shrink)
Barbey & Sloman (B&S) present five models that account for performance in Bayesian inference tasks, and argue that the data disconfirm four of them but support one model. Contrary to B&S, I argue that the cited data fail to provide strong confirmation or disconfirmation for any of the models.