First Post

Now that the circle is complete and I’m Editor-in-Chief of JESP, the first psychology journal I published in (Giner-Sorolla & Chaiken, 1994), I thought I would start a blog to share all the thoughts on statistics, methodology, and more broadly evidence in publishing that don’t make it into my peer-reviewed output.

I held a contest on Facebook last year to name this hypothetical blog. My friends came up with a great selections of groaners, witticisms, and deeply appropriate titles. In the end I chose to grow my own.

I like the tentativeness about Simine Vazire’s blog title. (Of late it’s much more tentative than the blog posts themselves, which is a good mix!)

I think statistical significance is still the most important aspect of analysis in spite of all the criticisms of null hypothesis testing. I think most of its critics can be answered in the spirit of Ronald Fisher (the luxuriantly-bearded hipster on my title banner – yes, briar pipes are going to replace vaping in about 5 years, but you saw it here first).

Sir Ronald in his later years emphasized reasonable interpretation of the p-value continuum in context rather than the wholesale acceptance or rejection of hypotheses, and I advocate this too, given the limitations of theory and method in social psychology in particular. More on that later.

And, the title ironically refers to one of the euphemisms that has sprung up in the world of significance testing to legitimize results just a wee bit over p = .05. Hundreds more can be found here.

Anyway, some of the most interesting commentary and methods development in today’s world of research can be found on blogs. Distribution is lightning-quick. At the same time, accurate critical responses (or any responses at all) don’t come guaranteed. Often, discussion dead-ends. People seeking change risk hypocrisy, if we criticize researchers for leaping to publicize their exciting ideas based on less-than-robust results, but then turn around and do the same with our own, critical methods. So, I think a lot of this self-published material needs to make it to peer review, as slow as that process can be.

I am encouraging submissions of methods articles to JESP for peer review. I want to see pieces that reach across and communicate with researchers about better ways to create and analyze data. We are not talking Psych Methods here. Explanations up, equations down. Web-based or downloadable resources are particularly to be encouraged, as is code usable with a range of statistical platforms.

Some of the posts to follow on Approaching Significance will talk about techniques I find to be missing and underdeveloped in the field. You can take that as a cue for the kind of topics we might be interested in at JESP. Or, you might surprise me. I’m always available to discuss your chances via email (rsg {snail} kent [snail eye] ac [other snail eye] uk) before you submit.

In the meantime, bookmark this if you like, add it to your feed and stay tuned.

 

References

Giner-Sorolla, R., & Chaiken, S. (1994). The causes of hostile media judgments. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 30(2), 165–180.