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When the Revolution Came for Amy Cuddy - The New York Times |
But since 2015, even as she continued to stride onstage and tell the audiences to face down their fears, Cuddy has been fighting her own anxieties, as fellow academics have subjected her research to exceptionally high levels of public scrutiny. She is far from alone in facing challenges to her work: Since 2011, a methodological reform movement has been rattling the field, raising the possibility that vast amounts of research, even entire subfields, might be unreliable. Up-and-coming social psychologists, armed with new statistical sophistication, picked up the cause of replications, openly questioning the work their colleagues conducted under a now-outdated set of assumptions. The culture in the field, once cordial and collaborative, became openly combative, as scientists adjusted to new norms of public critique while still struggling to adjust to new standards of evidence.

Cuddy, in particular, has emerged from this upheaval as a unique object of social psychology’s new, enthusiastic spirit of self-flagellation — as if only in punishing one of its most public stars could it fully break from its past. At conferences, in classrooms and on social media, fellow academics (or commenters on their sites) have savaged not just Cuddy’s work but also her career, her income, her ambition, even her intelligence, sometimes with evident malice. Last spring, she quietly left her tenure-track job at Harvard.

Some say that she has gained fame with an excess of confidence in fragile results, that she prized her platform over scientific certainty. But many of her colleagues, and even some who are critical of her choices, believe that the attacks on her have been excessive and overly personal. What seems undeniable is that the rancor of the critiques reflects the emotional toll among scientists forced to confront the fear that what they were doing all those years may not have been entirely scientific.
Since the late 1960s, the field’s psychologists have tried to elevate the scientific rigor of their work, introducing controls and carefully designed experiments like the ones found in medicine. Increasingly complex ideas about the workings of the unconscious yielded research with the charm of mesmerists’ shows, revealing unlikely forces that seem to guide our behavior: that simply having people wash their hands could change their sense of culpability; that people’s evaluations of risk could easily be rendered irrational; that once people have made a decision, they curiously give more weight to information in its favor. Humans, the research often suggested, were reliably mercurial, highly suggestible, profoundly irrational, tricksters better at fooling ourselves than anyone else.
For years, researchers treated journal articles, and their authors, with a genteel respect; even in the rare cases where a new study explicitly contradicted an old one, the community assumed that a lab error must account for the discrepancy. There was no incentive to replicate, in any case: Journals were largely not interested in studies that had already been done, and failed replications made people (maybe even your adviser) uncomfortable.
In 2014, Psychological Science started giving electronic badges, an extra seal of approval, to studies that made their data and methodologies publicly available and preregistered their design and analysis ahead of time, so that researchers could not fish around for a new hypothesis if they turned up some unexpected findings.
When other priming studies failed to replicate later that year, the Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, who discussed priming in his book “Thinking Fast and Slow,” wrote a letter to social psychologists who studied the effect, urging them to turn their attitude around. “To deal effectively with the doubts, you should acknowledge their existence and confront them straight on,” he wrote.
To Cuddy, Carney’s post seemed so sweeping as to be vague, self-abnegating. Even Simonsohn, who made clear his support for Carney’s decision, thought the letter had a strangely unscientific vehemence to it. “If I do a bad job proving there’s a ninth planet, I probably shouldn’t say there’s a ninth planet,” he says. “But I shouldn’t say there is no ninth planet, either. You should just ignore the bad study and go back to base line.”
For a moment, the scientist allowed the human element to factor into how he felt about his email response to that paper. “I wish,” he said, “I’d had the presence of mind to pick up the phone and call Amy.”
If Amy Cuddy is a victim, she may not seem an obvious one: She has real power, a best-selling book, a thriving speaking career. She did not own up fully to problems in her research or try to replicate her own study. (She says there were real hurdles to doing so, not least of which was finding a collaborator to take that on.) But many of her peers told me that she did not deserve the level of widespread and sometimes vicious criticism she has endured. “Amy has been the target of mockery and meanness on Facebook, on Twitter, in blog posts — I feel like, Wow, I have never seen that in science,” Van Bavel says. “I’ve only been in it for 15 years, but I’ve never seen public humiliation like that.”
I was surprised to find that some of the leaders in the replication movement were not Cuddy’s harshest critics but spoke of her right to defend her work in more measured tones. “Why does everyone care so much about what Amy says?” Brian Nosek says. “Science isn’t about consensus.” Cuddy was entitled to her position; the evidence in favor or against power posing would speak for itself. Leif Nelson, one of the three pioneers of the movement, says Cuddy is no different from most other scientists in her loyalty to her data. “Authors love their findings,” he says. “And you can defend almost anything — that’s the norm of science, not just in psychology.” He still considers Cuddy a “very serious psychologist”; he also believes the 2010 paper “is a bunch of nonsense.” But he says, “It does not strike me as at all notable that Amy would defend her work. Most people do.”

From the comments:
Speaking as a social psychologist (PhD UCLA Graduate School of Education, 1992), I found this article fascinating and important. The fulcrum of the whole piece is this: “‘I remember how happy we were when Dana called me with the results,’ Cuddy says. ‘Everything went in the direction it was supposed to.’” That remark illustrates the embrace of subjectivity where objectivity is the goal. Dr. Cuddy’s revealing statement lies at the nexus of why there is so much public distrust of science while, paradoxically, others suspend their skepticism and accept and even champion poor research; selection bias is an extremely powerful force.
socialscience  powerpose  bodylanguage  research  scientificrigor  statistics  psychology  phacking  replication  socialmedia 
october 2017 by kme
A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario - Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
This report presents a new look at the future of cycling for urban transportation (rather than recreation), and the potential contribution it could make to mobility as well as sustainability. The results show that a world with a dramatic increase in cycling could save society US$24 trillion cumulatively between 2015 and 2050, and cut CO2 emissions from urban passenger transport by nearly 11 percent in 2050 compared to a High Shift scenario without a strong cycling emphasis.
cycling  urbanplanning  climatechange  environment  statistics 
april 2017 by kme
If you’ve ever described people as ‘white working class,’ read this - The Washington Post
About 51 percent say that their lives would be no different if they had a four-year college degree, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation/CNN poll. Only 45 percent believed that a bachelor's degree would benefit them. In contrast, 73 percent of the black working class and 74 percent of Hispanic working class said they thought having a four-year college degree would make their lives better.
whiteamerica  middleclass  demographic  statistics  elections2016 
november 2016 by kme
MATLAB - Counting the # of rows that are only numbered with multiples of 5 - Stack Overflow []
you can convert day-hour-min into minutes. Suppose your data is stored in an n-by-3 matrix called data (how original). Then

>> minutes = data * [24*60; 60; 1]; % counting minutes from the begining
Now you have to define the bins' edges (the intervals for summation):

>> edges = min(minutes) : 5 : max(minutes); % you might want to round the lower and upper limits to align with a 5 minute interval.
Use histc to count how many drops in each bin

>> drops = histc(minutes, edges);
matlab  statistics  solution 
october 2016 by kme
The Undetected Rapist - David Lisak, Ph.D.
These men have also consistently been shown to have strong needs to dominate and to be in control of women, and to be particularly fearful of being controlled by women. This characteristic leads them to view sexual relations as “conquests,” and all women as potential “targets ” of conquests. Consistent with their very stereotyped beliefs about sex roles, undetected rapists have been shown to be more e motionally constricted than nonaggressive men. They are less able to label their own emotional experience, and much less emotionally expressive. As a consequence, they are also less capable of resonating with the emotional experience of other people, and are therefore less empathic than nonaggressive men.

Thus, while in general aggression and violence are perceived to be more masculine than feminine traits, the rapist tends to view aggression and violence as crucial markers of his adequacy as a male. They prove to him that he is a “real man.” When such deeply held beliefs are combined with the effects of sexually violent subcultures, as described above, the mixture often becomes dangerous. The “power” motivation that underlies the constant striving for sexual conquests mixes with the rapist’s underlying hostility toward women and his hyperm asculine identity. When a woman resists his coercive sexual pressure, he is very likely to perceive this as a challenge and affront to his masculinity and to react with anger and aggression, behaviors which restore his sense of adequacy.
research  paper  rape  rapeculture  men  statistics 
september 2016 by kme
US police shootings: How many die each year? - BBC News
“Somewhere along the way we bought into this insane idea that everything always has to get bigger, especially sales,” he said. He argued that the constant drive for better financial performance can lead companies to engage in unethical behavior, citing the Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal as a prime example. “It’s that very pressure for growth, endless growth, even when you’re filthy rich, that led them to a crime where they cheated and deceived their customers,” he added.
guns  america  shootings  perception  statistics 
september 2016 by kme

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