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Discussion and Explanation of the Writings of Tom Campbell: The Paradigm Changes Here

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:47 pm 
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In his lectures Tom talks about how the universe is subjective, not objective, and therefore double and triple-blind techniques have to be used in studies to guard against experimenter-induced errors. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal seems to affirm this.

In a Wall Street Journal article entitled "Scientists' Elusive Goal: Reproducing Study Results" (12/2/11) the author Gautam Naik reported Glenn Begley, vice president of research at Amgen of Thousand Oaks, California, as saying, "more often than not we are unable to reproduce findings" published by researchers in journals. Naik writes, "This is one of medicine's dirty secrets: Most results, including those that appear in top-flight peer-reviewed journals, can't be reproduced."

As to the cause, Naik states that, "academic researchers rarely conduct experiments in a blinded manner." He also cites a bias toward publishing positive results: "In the quest for jobs and funding . . . scientists need more successful experiments to their name, not failed ones." "Nobody gets a promotion from publishing a negative study."

In short, academic scientists, embedded in a strong belief system that says reality is objective, don't take precautions against their personal investment in a certain outcome and as a result their findings often cannot be reproduced.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:36 am 
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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 41590.html

Here is the article. Having been a recent academic with research design a big part I don't think this person is correct in saying "Unlike pharmaceutical companies, academic researchers rarely conduct experiments in a "blinded" manner. This makes it easier to cherry-pick statistical findings that support a positive result. In the quest for jobs and funding, especially in an era of economic malaise, the growing army of scientists need more successful experiments to their name, not failed ones."

I know the research design was very picky and specifically in order to avoid cherry picking. I know the academic system isn't much better off than our US political system having been in it recently and wanting one more go for the PhD but academic research in psychology at least is controlled. I have Master level research design texts around here somewhere...
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