Category Archives: Research

Beware the WEIRD study participant

‘Weird’, in this case, means study participants from Western, Educated, and from Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic countries. More on that below – but first let me set the stage. Our Psychology department at UC Berkeley recently articulated a set of learning goals for our graduate … Continue reading

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Straight talk about graduate school

When a student sent me this article by Professor Stephen C. Stearns, titled “Some Modest Advice for Graduate Students“, she warned me that it might be a bit intimidating for this blog. Indeed, to those of you who are not cynical by nature*, … Continue reading

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Perfectionism: Too much of a good thing?

…le mieux est l’ennemi du bien – Voltaire, as far as we know None of my close friends would describe me as a perfectionist. In fact, one of my favorite colleagues recently nominated me “most likely to lose a shoe … Continue reading

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On the importance of strong inference research

This classic introduces the concept of ‘strong inference’ – it’s well worth a read, even for those who have been doing research for years. Following its guidelines will make you a better scientist (and a better grant-writer).

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Need a stats refresher?

My friend and colleague Andrew Conway-Spera, a faculty member in Psychology at Princeton, is a gifted statistics instructor. He created an online intro to stats MOOC last year for Coursera, and it went phenomenally well. He has made numerous tweaks … Continue reading

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The importance of stupidity

I’m guessing that when you were growing up, you were praised for your intelligence. (Just a wild hunch!) And while I’m sure that you are, indeed, very bright, I don’t think you should dwell on it. Today’s post is about … Continue reading

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A sense of purpose could be important for your health

This intriguing new PNAS study by Barbara Frederickson and colleagues at UNC Chapel Hill and UCLA begins with a brief lesson on Greek philosophy: “Philosophers have long distinguished two basic forms of wellbeing: a “hedonic” form representing the sum of … Continue reading

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