*"Addressing" the problem..."

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology just posted this letter on "responsible conduct," documenting all the steps the society is taking to address concerns about methodological integrity, ethics, p-hacking, non-replicating results, and documented fraud in psychology (particularly in social psychology of late). It's a start. I guess.

Apparently, they appointed a task force that "outlined a variety of ways we could take positive steps to ensure the integrity of our science." Okay. Fine. Next they're planning a symposium for January to talk more about these issues. Perhaps at the symposium, they'll discuss other ways that they might talk about identifying problems worth discussing. 

As Star Trek's Lt. Cmdr Worf once said, "Less talk. More synthohol."

The society publishes top journals. It has the authority to enact changes that would enhance the reliability, replicability, and robustness of the research conducted and published by its members. They can do better than encouraging their members to "make discussions of ethical behavior part of the everyday discussion in your lab."

For me, the most disappointing part of this letter was its occasional emphasis on appearance rather than substance: "People are talking about what our goals are as individual scientists (i.e., promoting our science or promoting ourselves)." When did the goal of individual scientists become promoting rather than discovering or finding the truth? Maybe that misplaced emphasis is part of the problem. A stated goal of the task force was to examine "...how we can generally promote social and personality psychology as a credible scientific endeavor" [emphasis mine]. Perhaps a good place to start would be taking actual steps to bolster the foundations of the science itself.
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