Category Archives: Chapter 3

Psychics and Pseudoscience

With concerns about reproducibility of results and exposure of instances of fraud–not to mention conflicting research results about what you should eat and how often you should be tested, it is easy to become cynical about the value of scientific … Continue reading

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Photos as Data

Do you store your photos on Google Photos?  Do you know that Google doesn’t just store, it also analyzes?  It scans pictures to identify such features as what you are wearing, what you are doing, and whether you are with … Continue reading

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A Mad Rush to Publish

There’s nothing worse for the progress of science than finding that published results were based on outright fraud or overhyped findings. The editors of a site termed Retraction Watch estimate that an average retraction rate of one scientific paper per … Continue reading

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The rush to celebrate “eureka” moments

Yet another article on the problem of replication.  If a study is designed with research methods that have been implemented appropriately and reported clearly, repeating that study with the same methods, the findings should be similar.  Right?  This has always been a … Continue reading

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Reproducibility? Not So Much.

When social scientists use exemplary methods and report their findings accurately, we like to think that they have found out something about the social world.  Furthermore, it then seems that if another social scientist conducted the same study again, with … Continue reading

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Trash the Focus of Anthropological Research in New York

New York University anthropologist Robin Nagle has found “a gold mine for garbage pickers.” New York’s Department of Sanitation collects almost 3.5 million tons of trash each year. The contents range from discarded photos of a divorced spouse and bottles … Continue reading

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Do social scientists do better than pollsters?

One of the concerns that emerged from the recent scandal about apparently fictitious data in a published poll about support for same-sex marriage was whether public pollsters are less transparent in their methods than social scientists.  Polling organizations are often … Continue reading

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