Racing Towards Another Race: Processing Faces One Feature at a Time

The own-race bias in face processing is a well-known effect that refers to the fact that people generally find it easier to identify faces of people of their own race. Although the general effect has been known for decades, the source of the bias is not well understood. There are a number of broad explanations […]

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Are the times a-changin’? Reporting before and after the 2015 statistical guidelines

“Progress is not possible without deviation.” — Frank Zappa The ways by which psychological science deals with methodological problems are many. There are bottom-up approaches such as peer-reviewed papers and workshops given by methodologists who advocate particular types of changes. There are also top-down approaches, such as funding agencies requiring data sharing or journals requiring […]

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Putting p’s into lmer: mixed-model regression and statistical significance

Since Herb Clark published his famous “Language as a fixed effect fallacy” in 1973, there has been a slow realization that standard techniques, such as ANOVA, are the wrong tools for the jobs that most psychologists tackle. The basic problem is that most psychological questions involve generalization beyond a sample of people and beyond a […]

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Stitching time onto a tree: joining models of accuracy with response times to understand cognition

“Time is what we want most, but what, alas! we use worst.” —William Penn There are many dimensions of human behavior. Consider a typical recognition memory task in which a participant is given a list of words to remember. A little while later, suppose this participant is shown the word “bear” and asked whether it […]

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The theologian and the black cat in a dark room: ‘unconscious’ perception as a statistical artifact

A philosopher and a theologian are discussing their respective fields over coffee. The theologian dismisses philosophy: “You know what a philosopher is like?” he demands. “A philosopher is a man searching in a dark room for a black cat that isn’t there.” The philosopher nods. “Maybe so,” he concedes, “but it takes a theologian to […]

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Betrayed by averaging: invalid inferences when nobody is ‘average’

One of the essential goals of psychology is generalization: describing ways in which people are similar. Of course, human behaviour varies across situations, times, and individuals, and hence often defies generalization. Ignoring this variability and assuming that people are the same can lead to improper generalizations about human behaviour. In a new paper in the Psychonomic Bulletin […]

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Periscoping #psGranada16

As the Psychonomic Society gathers in Granada to for the 2016 International meeting, we were thinking of the people that can’t make it. Fortunately, with modern social media apps like Periscope, we can bring Psychonomics to you. If you are attending the meeting and you have a mobile phone, you can Periscope (or otherwise live stream) […]

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The American Statistical Association statement on p-values

There are no statistics that inflame the passions of statisticians and scientists as does the p value. The p value is, informally, a statistic used for assessing whether a “null hypothesis” (e.g., that the difference in performance between two conditions is 0) should be taken seriously. It is simultaneously the most used and most hated statistic in all of […]

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A puppy in a cup, for open science

Since the enlightenment, openness has been a core part of the ethos of science. Scientific openness takes many forms: from its inception the Royal Society, for instance, published reports from all over the world, not just Great Britain. Science is politically open, a collective search for truth and human well-being ideally not concerned with national […]

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