By Graham Davey
The Graham Davey Blog
Originally posted September 30, 201
There’s been quite a good deal of discussion recently about (1) how we validate a scientific fact (here, here and here), and (2) whether psychology – and in particular some branches of psychology – are prone to generate fallacious scientific knowledge (here and here). As psychologists, we are all trained (I hope) to be scientists – exploring the boundaries of knowledge and trying as best we can’ to create new knowledge, but in many of our attempts to pursue our careers and pay the mortgage, are we badly prone to creating false knowledge? Yes – we probably are! Here are just a few examples, and I challenge most of you psychology researchers who read this post to say you haven’t been a culprit in at least one of these processes!
Here are 10 ways to risk creating false knowledge in psychology.
1. Create your own psychological construct. Constructs can be very useful ways of summarizing and formalizing unobservable psychological processes, but researchers who invent constructs need to know a lot about the scientific process, make sure they don’t create circular arguments, and must be in touch with other psychological research that is relevant to the understanding they are trying to create.
Thanks to Ed Zuckerman for this information.