The weird power of the placebo effect, explained Over the last several years, doctors noticed a mystifying trend: Fewer and fewer new pain drugs were getting through double-blind placebo control trials, the gold standard for testing a drug’s effectiveness. In … Continue reading Placebo in your brain
Some limits on interpreting causality in neuroscience experiments Causality is the killer test for science. And nowhere is causality more elusive than in neuroscience. We want answers to seemingly simple questions. Does the activity of neuron “Alice” cause behaviour “Boris”? … Continue reading The supernatural in your brain
Replication is impossible, falsification unnecessary and truth lies in published articles (?) I recently peer reviewed a partly shocking piece called “Reproducibility in Psychological Science: When Do Psychological Phenomena Exist?“ (Iso-Ahola, 2017). In the article, the author makes some very … Continue reading Do psychological phenomena exist?
Science Needs a Solution for the Temptation of Positive Results A few years back, scientists at the biotechnology company Amgen set out to replicate 53 landmark studies that argued for new approaches to treat cancers using both existing and new … Continue reading The reproducibility problem
Flossing and the Art of Scientific Investigation It’s bad enough that expertise is under attack these days from populist political movements that dismiss specialist opinion as just another establishment ruse. But lately expertise is being criticized from another direction, too … Continue reading Randomized controlled trials vs. experts
Ten Famous Psychology Findings That It’s Been Difficult To Replicate Every now and again a psychology finding is published that immediately grabs the world’s attention and refuses to let go – often it’s a result with immediate implications for how … Continue reading Failures of replication in psychology
Do You Believe in God, or Is That a Software Glitch? We’ve all seen them, those colorful images that show how our brains “light up” when we’re in love, playing a video game, craving chocolate, etc. Created using functional magnetic … Continue reading The false positives of fmri