“Rethinking my Science” – Society for Personality and Social Psychology

An interesting article by Charles Stangor: “Rethinking my Science”

And a quote from it:

First is the paper by Henrich, Heine, and Norenzayan (2010) on the use of WEIRD samples.  These authors argue that our usual college student samples (White, Educated, Intelligent, Rich, and Democratic) are just terrible – that we cannot expect them to generalize very far, and that we desperately need to expand them.

I was trained, and have always trained my students, that “since we can’t get a representative sample of the population of interest (everyone), then we might as well study college students as they are convenient.”  This belief was so dear to me that I fully expected to find that the many respected scientists who responded to the target paper would buy into this logic – it just seems so reasonable!   But with some exceptions (e.g. Gaertner, Sedikides, & Brown, 2010), they did not.  It appears that many – even most – scientists agree that samples used by social psychologists are flawed and that our conclusions are therefore invalid.



Posted on February 27, 2012, in Academia, Science. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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