Thursday, December 15, 2016

Part of the problem

At least it is an open admission, I'll give the author of this post that much credit. I get it as far as the argument that junior researchers (such as grad students and post-docs) who are more willing to take on projects are going to reap more of the spoils. Good work ethic is nice. Splendid. What is really useful is that there is an open admission that to get this particular assistant published a good deal of p-hacking was deemed necessary. So great - research assistant has lines on a CV that may be helpful in the short term. However, long-term, what is this sort of practice doing to our science? Personally, I find the publish or perish culture that has become so much a part of academic life to be one that is rather inviting to some of our unhealthier impulses to submit research that may be worse than useless, when we really should be slowing down and ascertaining that we have adequately tested the hypotheses we set out to test. In the meantime, here's another lab that may be putting out some good research, but is probably also producing some problematic research based on little more than fishing expeditions. But hey - at least p < .05, right?

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