The science of psychology is in crisis: Influential findings are failing to replicate all over the place; in fact, a recent large-scale effort has only managed to reproduce the results of about a third of a long list of well-known studies. Science is a self-correcting process, and mistakes happen in all fields – but why is there a sense among psychology researchers that our field might have a particular problem? And what can we do about it? As a scientist who studies the human brain and mind, I find the replication crisis in psychology very disturbing. In this talk I’ll discuss what I (and many others) think are the reasons it’s happening, why so many published studies are likely to be wrong, and how I’ve been trying to deal with it personally, on a small scale, by making it my regular habit to take studies that fall into the “I’ll believe it when I see it” category and run them to see for myself.
Dr. David Carmel is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, where he runs the Brain Stimulation Lab. He completed a PhD at University College London in 2007, and was then an International Brain Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Neural Science, New York University, before arriving in Edinburgh in 2012. His research focuses on the cognitive neuroscience of consciousness and perceptual awareness, examining what distinguishes conscious and unconscious visual experience, and how awareness interacts with faculties like attention and emotion. He has written about the brain and mind in the Scientific American Mind Matters blog, and given public talks on neuroscience at various events, including the Secret Science Club and Nerd Nite in New York.