Monday, August 29, 2016

Everything is fucked: The syllabus, by Sanjay Srivastava (with links to articles)

This syllabus for PSY 607: Everything is Fuckedmade the rounds last week. The syllabus is for a course that purports that science is fucked. The course readings are a list of articles and books that hit on the limitations of statistics and research psychology (p-values, shortcomings of meta-analysis, misuse of mediation, replication crisis, etc.). PSY 607 isn't an actual class (as author/psychologist/blogger Srivastava explains in this piece from The Chronicle) but it does provide a fine reading list for understanding some of the current debates and changes in statistics and psychology.  Most of articles are probably too advanced for undergraduates but perfectly appropriate for teaching graduate students about our field and staying up to date as instructors of statistics.

Here is a link to the original blog post/syllabus. 

Here is the syllabus' author on Twitter. He shares all sorts of interesting psychy-statsy ideas and thoughts there and at his blog

In order to provide more than just a link to the original syllabus, I found .pdf versions of the articles cited. If I couldn't find it for free, I didn't include the reading. But do go check out the original, whole syllabus, especially the hilarious introductory paragraphs. 

Week 1: Psychology is fucked
Meehl, P. E. (1990). Why summaries of research on psychological theories are often uninterpretablePsychological Reports, 66, 195-244.
Week 2: Significance testing is fucked
Cohen, J. (1990). Things I have learned (so far)American Psychologist, 45, 1304-1312.
Rouder, J. N., Morey, R. D., Verhagen, J., Province, J. M., & Wagenmakers, E. J. (2016). Is there a free lunch in inference? Topics in Cognitive Science, 8, 520-547.
Week 3: Causal inference from experiments is fucked pdf...
Week 4: Mediation is fucked
No pdf...
Week 5: Covariates are fucked
Culpepper, S. A., & Aguinis, H. (2011). Using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with fallible covariates. Psychological Methods, 16, 166-178.
Westfall, J., & Yarkoni, T. (2016). Statistically controlling for confounding constructs is harder than you think. PloS one, 11, e0152719.
Week 6: Replicability is fucked
Pashler, H., & Harris, C. R. (2012). Is the replicability crisis overblown? Three arguments examinedPerspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 531-536.
Open Science Collaboration. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological scienceScience, 349(6251), aac4716.
Week 7: Interlude: Everything is fine, calm the fuck down
Gilbert, D. T., King, G., Pettigrew, S., & Wilson, T. D. (2016). Comment on “Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science.” Science, 251, 1037a.
No pdf...
Week 8: Scientific publishing is fucked
Fanelli, D. (2011). Negative results are disappearing from most disciplines and countriesScientometrics, 90, 891-904.
Ioannidis, J. P. (2005). Why most published research findings are falsePLoS Med, 2, e124.
Week 9: Meta-analysis is fucked
Inzlicht, M., Gervais, W., & Berkman, E. (2015). Bias-Correction Techniques Alone Cannot Determine Whether Ego Depletion is Different from Zero: Commentary on Carter, Kofler, Forster, & McCullough, 2015. Available at SSRN: or
Van Elk, M., Matzke, D., Gronau, Q. F., Guan, M., Vandekerckhove, J., & Wagenmakers, E. J. (2015). Meta-analyses are no substitute for registered replications: A skeptical perspective on religious primingFrontiers in Psychology, 6.
Week 10: The scientific profession is fucked
Nosek, B. A., Spies, J. R., & Motyl, M. (2012). Scientific utopia II. Restructuring incentives and practices to promote truth over publishabilityPerspectives on Psychological Science, 7,615-631.