9. A Disagreement with Dr. Baumeister on his Construal of Exploring Small, Confirming Big

What an unusual Monday I had this week… It began with a normal trek to Starbucks to get some work done, only to find that my paper for the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology’s (JESP) special issue on replicable methods had finally appeared in press online (somewhat expected). Dr. Roy Baumeister had apparently enjoyed my paper so much that he wrote a paper of his own, expanding on my proposal (very much not expected). My weird Monday ended with a surprise visit from a stray dog, and having it keep me awake all night until I could drop it off at animal control (it was not tagged or microchipped) the next day, but that is another story. Anyways, back to Dr. Baumeister…

I am a Nobody, in the community of Social Psychologists–with a capital “N”. My H-Index is 6, and I don’t yet have even 100 citations to my work (but I am so close now, y’all! :P). Baumeister, by comparison, is a HUGE Somebody; he has an H-Index of 141, and over 100,000 citations to his work–the first page of his Google Scholar profile has articles all cited over 1000 times!!! Suffice to say, when Somebody writes the following of a Nobody’s paper, Nobody takes notice:

I will particularly elaborate Sakaluk’s (in this issue) proposal that the optimal model is to explore small, confirm big. (p. 1)

But after my feeling of surprise passed, I read his paper, and I realized that Dr. Baumeister had misunderstood–and therefore misconstrued–some of the more important points of my proposal. I’m therefore using this blog post to set the record straight about my vision for the Exploring Small, Confirming Big approach, and what parts of Dr. Baumeister’s construal of Exploring Small, Confirming Big that I disagree with.  Continue reading

8. Why Civility Matters in the Replicability Discourse

I have to admit: I am more than a bit nervous to write this post. Many “big” events have transpired within the last week of the ongoing discourse regarding replicability in psychological science, and the resulting exchanges on Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere have seemed incredibly heated and personal. Most centrally, the widely-discussed (and embargo-leaked) commentary critiquing the Reproducibility Project was released in Science:

Only to be rapidly responded to with–err, preceded by–thoughtful critiques of the critique (and even critiques of the critiques of the critique) by the Reproducibility Project, and many others:

In the midst of all of the online activity, I have seen some pretty ugly behaviour, from one-off snide comments, to elaborate flame wars, including (but not limited to): name-calling, mean-spirited poetry, attempts to shame individuals from participating in the discourse, and appeals to authority intending to silence critical discussion. This is not the level of “scientific”communication that our discipline deserves–least of all now. And I felt like I needed to blog about this recent trend in online communication about replicability, because I actually feel hurt for many of the individuals involved, many of whom I hardly know at all. Continue reading