As various scientific fields move forward, we are beginning to notice a trend: openness. Research used to be conducted in private (to an extent), and research articles have historically been difficult to obtain. In many ways, both of these points are still true today. But the norm has been changing, and you can now find more research that's discussed openly, more articles available to the public, and so on. Overall, I have been strongly in favor of this trend, though I do think there are some things that need to be figured out in regards to privacy. In this post I want to take some time to discuss the benefits of conducting research in the open, and what some of my specific concerns are.Read More
Filtering by Category: Research
When talking about children with medical conditions, many of us specifically discuss children with "chronic" medical conditions. But what is chronic, versus what is acute, can be tricky to actually define. There have been a number of different suggestions in the past to help classify someone as having a chronic medical condition, but that may be missing the point. Instead, I suggest it's better to think about the symptoms a child has, rather than whether or not the condition is "chronic."Read More
As information has become more freely available online, there has been a trend towards making research findings available. This has been both for academics (through databases containing PDFs of peer-reviewed articles) and for non-academics (through online posts/stories, not unlike my own blog posts). The former has come with its own complications, but in this post I want to focus on the challenges of the latter. Specifically, I want to provide words of caution for anyone reading online posts based on research articles: the findings of any one study, even if legitimate, generally have very little relation to your own life.
In order to get a better sense of why this is the case, I want to highlight a few things related to the role these types of posts play online. And yes, I fully acknowledge this post is based on my own perceptions of the problem and not on research. But when all I'm advocating for is caution, I feel that's of little importance.
And to be clear, I'm not saying that the research isn't valid, or that it should be ignored. This post pertains specifically to online posts that suggest you make big life changes based on the findings of one single study.Read More
When it comes to research work, having the right tools can make a big difference in efficiency, communication, and just general quality of life for the researcher. For my dissertation I have been working on a large meta-analysis, which has many different parts. Over the past several months I have tried various applications and ways of collaborating, and have learned a lot in the process. Now that I've reached a point where things are working smoothly, I wanted to share the tools I have found most helpful (for meta-analyses and research more broadly). While doing so, I also want to highlight the workflow that I've found to work well for my meta-analysis.Read More
When you think of research, what comes to mind? For many of you, it's probably a bunch of numbers that get analyzed in some way, and there's some sort of resulting number that tells us something. For a lot of research, this is generally true. But in psychology, many people make the obvious remark about this approach: numbers cannot perfectly represent human experiences. Unlike other types of measuring, like using a tape measure to find the length of something, psychology research is less precise. Many people use this fact as justification to call psychology a "soft" science. But that shows a misunderstanding of how psychology research is conducted. There are actually two forms of research that we use, and increasingly try to combine: quantitative and qualitative. Here, I want to briefly describe each.Read More
Chegg (the platform I use to offer tutoring in psychology, statistics, etc.) has asked some tutors to help create videos that demonstrate how we would discuss a topic in a lesson. As I help to create videos as part of this initiative, I'll cross-post them here as a sort of informal vlog post. In this video, I discuss another stats topic: regression to the mean. This is an important concept to understand when doing research, as it plays a role in whether or not our findings are meaningful.Read More
Chegg (the platform I use to offer tutoring in psychology, statistics, etc.) has asked some tutors to help create videos that demonstrate how we would discuss a topic in a lesson. As I help to create videos as part of this initiative, I'll cross-post them here as a sort of informal vlog post. In this video, I discuss transforming data, which is a technique used fairly frequently in statistics. Many people misunderstand data transformation and are hesitant to use the technique, but sometimes it's important for your analyses.Read More
There have been a lot of stories from very credible sources recently that are discussing challenges in psychology research and whether results from these studies can be trusted. For example, Vox recently posted a great article that addresses the situation. (If you read the article, please read all the way to the end). This comes after different articles in the NYT and Science have talked about the topic as well. It's certainly a discussion worth having, but one that tends to paint psychology in an unfavorable (albeit mildly optimistic) way. As someone involved in psychology research, I wanted to give my own opinion on the situation.Read More
When working with data, there is a very common problem that we need to deal with: non-normal distributions. For many statistical analyses, a normal distribution is a necessary assumption. Many researchers ignore the normality of the distribution and just hope that the analysis they are using is "robust" enough (i.e., not significantly influenced by non-normal data) that it doesn't matter. In many cases, this is fine. However, it is still good to look at your data to see if it is non-normal to an extent that needs to be addressed. Here, I want to detail how to do so.Read More
For most students, the first exposure to presenting research findings is through a research poster. Posters are a visually-appealing way to present research findings that are brief, and they're easy for students to help with.
In this post I want to cover how each section of a poster should be handled. One thing that is apparent when attending conference poster presentations is that many posters are boring and very text-heavy. Posters provide researchers an opportunity to be creative and to go outside of the typical formatting (in our case, APA style) that manuscripts are required to follow, so we should be taking advantage of that flexibility!Read More
Something I learned quickly after entering into a doctoral program is that there are important tools and skills to have for professional success, and programs don't do a great job of telling students about these tools and skills. Instead, the expectation seems to be that students will learn about them on their own or, perhaps more likely, they are so essential to the everyday work of professionals that it's hard to remember the fact that students need to be told about them.
The first of these that I want to cover, because it is beneficial to start using one as soon in your professional career as possible (even in undergraduate), is reference managers.Read More