Pin Board

Inspired by recent moves to “empty the file drawer”, I’ve decided to start the slow and tedious process of tidying up my own.* I’ve called this page the “pin board” because that’s more reflective of my own practices – things languish on a note-to-self, hanging on a wall in my office – than what a “file drawer” might evoke. In particular, I don’t want to imply that I have left some studies out of published projects; this page is more like Roger Giner-Sorolla’s lab-wise file drawer.** Where the lab has an N = 1, and lives anywhere I live.

Please contact me if you are interested in more details about any of these studies/ideas!

In no particular order…

Intuitive thinking and belief in God (2012)

In this study, we tried to replicate and extend Shenhav, Rand, and Greene (2012), Study 3: We wanted to know whether being primed with an intuitive thinking style would increase religious belief also among atheists. The best (and worst) part of running this study was the recruitment. It was incredibly easy to recruit atheists from our university (we posted the study to the university’s “Atheist Club” facebook group, and bam), but incredibly hard to recruit Christians for comparison (we posted the study to the university’s (very active!) “Christian Club” facebook group, sent emails, begged and pleaded; but nope).

Why it never got published:
We didn’t replicate the original effect, nor did we find support for our alternative hypothesis (that an intuitive prime would shift atheists more towards strongly endorsing their non-religious beliefs). It was all just a big fat null, and we all know what happened to nulls back in 2012… to be fair to the original study though, this failure to replicate is not particularly damning. Our sample was very different (all self-identified atheists; perhaps hard to shift their beliefs), and it was also not all that big (N around 40 per cell).

Status of Methods+Data
I have both. Maybe one day, someone will do a meta-analysis, and this data will contribute some small piece to human knowledge.

Moral judgments under cognitive load (2013-2014)

This study got as far as being rejected two or three times, before we gave up. We gave up partly because we tried to add a second study to the first one (which I actually presented as a poster at SPSP 2014), but we changed too many things at once (sigh) and so the confusing results remained confusing. I hope to one day run a direct replication of the original study – I actually feel fairly confident the results will come out the same, though that might be naïve of me – and then try again to publish it.

Why it never got published (yet!)
I guess for this one, I can blame reviewers and editors…? Some of the comments were very good though; I wish we’d had a revise and resubmit.

Status of Methods+Data
I have both, and can send you the (rejected) manuscript as well.

Suspicion and face detection (2013)

This study had, and has, nothing to do with any of my other interests. But it was the first time I was exposed to the idea that as a PhD student, if I thought of a question that I wanted answered, and google scholar yielded nothing, I could… just do the research myself! It was super exciting, even if the effect was null. Research question: Does dispositional suspicion lead to a larger number of false-positives when detecting faces in noisy stimuli? Answer:  We didn’t find a correlation, with N = 50.

Why it never got published
The initial results weren’t very promising, and it wasn’t in our main area of interest, so we just dropped it.

Status of Methods+Data
I have the materials, but not the data. Can put you in touch with my collaborator though!

Morally made minds (2014)

This study was run in response to a paper published in Psychological Science, “The Harm-Made Mind” (Ward, Olsen, & Wegner, 2013). Some colleagues and I wrote a 1000-word commentary, with fresh data, and extended the original findings by 1) ruling out an alternative explanation for the results, 2) extending their pattern of results to a scenario involving care (in addition to harm). I’m a bit skeptical of the robustness of our results (as well as the original results, which we failed to replicate; see Footnote 2 in the commentary), but still, it would have been nice not to have had it rejected for being “too incremental”.

Why it never got published
It was written very specifically as a commentary for PS and so wouldn’t really fit anywhere else without extensive re-writing, and we weren’t that interested in the question.

Status of Methods+Data
I have both, and here is a pdf of the full commentary, and the Supplemental Materials.

More studies to follow. 🙂


*Starting this pin-board was also partly inspired by @deevybee’s post on the back log, which I happened across the other day.

**Also, there are other (excellent) things called the Psych File Drawer, and I don’t want to steal their thunder. 😉