Reliability in psychological science: methodology in crisis?

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“Scientific truth is a moving target,” wrote the editors of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) a decade ago. “But is it inevitable, as John Ioannidis argues …that the majority of findings are actually false?” In the decade since the editors posed this question, the psychological sciences have been shaken by further challenges to their credibility, including some widely reported controversies. It was August of this […]

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Small Picture, Big Picture: a photography resource for TOK

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Images and stories – singular tales have power to grip our imaginations and, in vividly capturing individual moments, to evoke a far more general experience. We’ve certainly witnessed the impact on political discussion of the single photo of a drowned child that I blogged on – and so did everyone else! – just recently. ( “How does a single photo of a single drowned child affect our shared knowledge? […]

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“— Based Medicine”: alternatives to “evidence”

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(Originally posted on  Activating TOK)  Is it obvious that medical conclusions ought to be based on evidence and science? What are the alternatives? For a smile along with the serious point, I recommend this satirical list by two doctors:  “Seven alternatives to evidence based medicine” . Vehemence-based medicine? Eminence-based medicine? The list predates the recent book on celebrity-based medicine with the splendid title Is Gwyneth Paltrow […]

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“Evidence-based medicine”: a class discussion, with a caffeine lift!

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(Originally posted on  Activating TOK)  Did you know that green coffee bean extract can help you lose weight? No? Me neither! Today, I’d like to propose a class discussion on thinking critically about media knowledge claims for products that yield fabulous (literally) medical benefits. The discussion is given a caffeine lift by a bite-sized example from a year […]

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