Teaching research methods to undergraduate students makes me pay attention to new and noteworthy studies. The New York Times published today an article on a study by Chabris and Hart that tested success hypotheses proposed by popular book authors (see the article here "How Not to Explain Success" http://nyti.ms/1Skwywe). One of the reasons why psychology is often at the forefront of important (meaningful, potentially policy-changing) findings, is its allegiance to systematic empirical hypotheses testing. The potential use of psychological research tools to dispel catchy, establishment-maintining ideals, can help us support more effective policies. Research is also a tool of accountability and, as it is used by these authors, does its job by holding popular press authors to evidence -that pesky caveat- that may or may not support their ideas. Of course, research is not the miraculous solution to all of our doubts and conundrums, but we know no better way to advance our kind. Kudos to these researchers.
The value of empirical evidence
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Valkiria Durán-Narucki, Ph.D.
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