30 Days of Thinking About Science — Introduction

I have decided to work on some thinking about science posts in June.  This post is the first of the series, and is currently scheduled for May 17th, and future ones will either be on, or after the day of the month they have to do with.

On April 17th I decided to write a bit of a “will be coming up” as part of the “30 Days of Autism Acceptance” I am doing in April (it’s when I am starting this piece, though I’m giving myself a month to get to writing this in a better form, though I hope to be mostly not working on this, as I’m looking at the month of May being a “transition” month).

A friend was talking about what it is about psychology and how “hard evidence” in psychology “just can’t exist”.  There was a bit of a discussion about that science with another friend, which I will be looking at a bit before finishing this up:

  • Correlation does not equal Causation
  • Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack
  • Biased evidence is biased (decisions about what to publish)
  • New findings are sexier than confirming old findings
  • Small studies do not show support for conclusion (though support for research)
  • Knowledge of intervention biases results (reasons for doing double blind, or at least single blind)
    • This even applies to “hard sciences” such as physics, or chemistry
  • Gold Standard of study is not only valid research method (more on research methods)
  • “You can’t prove a negative” vs. “You can’t disprove a positive.”
    • Hypothesis generation
  • The placebo effect is a real effect
  • The nocebo effect exists, and is barely understood
  • Psychosomatic effects are real effects
  • Just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it’s not happening
  • Quantitative research vs. qualitative research
  • Small studies help point to areas of future studies
  • Research methods
    • Observation
    • Survey
    • Experimentaiton
    • Case Study

OK, things from that discussion:

  • The Scientific Method
  • Aggregate data generalizations vs. individual level generalizations
  • Science Methodology in General

OK, everything else I had already handled in my list, which is probably a good way for it to be.  That looks like I already have topics for most of the month…

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