Patrick S. Forscher Profile picture
Research scientist trying to make @PsySciAcc independent & sustainable. Meta-science, social interventions, herps, beer
1 Feb
This fascinating paper distinguishes between two spheres of science:

-academic, governed by prestige for public knowledge disclosure;
-technological, governed by money derived from secret knowledge

However, a puzzle: my field has no well-developed field of “technology”!

The paper offers no clear guidance about what would happen in such a field. I’m not sure either but I have some speculations based on what I think technology does for science as a whole.

1. A technological arm of a field creates pressure for research to “work”
If a firm relies on research that doesn’t work, another firm could develop research that does and put the non-competitive firm out of business.

This pressure is not so strong in academic research because rewards accrue to *discovery claims*, not to inventions that “work”
Read 11 tweets
14 Dec 19
On the recommendation of @ivanflis, I’m reading “The Scientific Journal”, a history of how journals came to serve the roles of repositories disseminators, and guardians of scientific knowledge. I’ll be collecting interesting tidbits in this thread 🧵…
Prior to the nineteenth century, “journals” were more like periodicals reporting news. Modern journals originated in the nineteenth century
Seventeenth Century journals had quite varied content, ranging from book reviews, to letter excerpts, to bits of journalism and gossip
Read 14 tweets
11 Dec 19
ManyLabs 4: Across 2,220 participants recruited at 21 labs, subtle death reminders did not induce measurable amounts of worldview defense

Massive effort by @raklein3 and colleagues
The project also allowed half the labs to design their own protocols. The fact that there was little variation in results despite large variation in protocols lends support to the idea that the effects of subtle death reminders on this outcome really are close to zero
In retrospect I think the impact of protocol variation might have been better assessed with a task that produces a large and highly robust effect, like Stroop
Read 3 tweets
5 Dec 19
For the past week or two, I’ve been mulling over this fascinating paper on the historical origins of open science.…

I think it has a lot to teach meta-scientists. However, it’s long and abstruse. This is my attemp to make the content more accessible 🧵
David starts with the following question: why should scientists make their knowledge public?

Although public knowledge might accumulate more rapidly than private knowledge, the *institution* of public knowledge is pretty weird and rare, historically
In the medieval era, for example, the learned sought to keep their knowledge secret from “the unworthy”
Read 20 tweets
5 Jun 19
.@NourKteily and I have just posted a major update to our working paper on the alt-right. The paper now includes a nationally representative sample, which allows us to estimate the alt-right's prevalence & demographics as well as their psychology.

A few additional thoughts ...
We posted the original version of this paper in August 2017. We relied on mTurk recruitment in that original paper and received some incisive criticism from @ScottClif on that point
This led us to go the extra mile to improve our sampling in the revised paper. We contracted with the National Opinion Research Center to obtain a nationally representative probability sample to validate our results. Some of them hold up but not all do
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13 May 19
In press with @CalvinKLai, @jordanaxt, @CharlieEbersole, Michelle Herman, @DevineLab, and @BrianNosek : "A meta-analysis of procedures to change implicit measures"

This is a huge project & I have lots of thoughts about it. I discuss some below

Implicit bias is frequently invoked as a way to understanding social problems, especially disparities between social groups. However, social disparities are not the only area: there's a burgeoning literature applying the concepts of implicit bias to addiction
It's often claimed (including by me that changing implicit bias is a means of solving social problems. However, many o fhte studies used to support this claim are observational. We wanted to focus on randomized studies that can get closer to causality
Read 14 tweets
20 Nov 18
#ML2 ( has got me thinking about the following thesis: Over the past ~20 odd years (or longer), social psychologists have grossly underestimated how hard it is for people to change
Let me state up front that this thesis is not new. I'm also not sure that social psychologists actually *believe* that people are easy to change. Nevertheless, the assumption of changeability underlies a lot of social psychology research from the past ~20-30 years
The assumption of changeability is most extreme in the various flavors of social priming studies. Being outside a box enhances creativity (…), exposure to money increases conservatism ( and on and on and on
Read 12 tweets
2 Jul 18
I noticed an interesting post by Phil Zimbardo this morning on the Stanford Prison Experiment via the @SPSPnews listserv
There's also a new notice if you go to It's good that he's directing people to both criticisms and responses, though I find it quite odd that Zimbardo continues to use the term "bloggers" to describe the critics
Read 12 tweets
28 May 18
In wake of the reaction to the preprint ( released by me, @ScienceCox, @brauerlab1, and @DevineLab, I have a few thoughts on scientific criticism and culture
First, I want to acknowledge that the preprint received a lot of useful, constructive criticism. For example, this thread by @NIH_Bear is both thoughtful and useful. It will certainly help us improve the next version of our paper
As another example, I found this interaction with @PsycGrrrl to be very constructive . That said, not all of the criticism was constructive, and some of it was quite vehement
Read 10 tweets