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Department of Psychology

Dr Amy Orben

Michaelmas Term 2021

Access to the course (Students with Raven)

Summary: Are the behavioural sciences a robust science? To answer such a question, this course will encourage you to think critically about how behavioural research is conducted and how conclusions are drawn.

To enable you to truly understand how behavioural research functions as a science, however, this course will also need to discuss how scientists are incentivised, how they publish and how their beliefs influence the inferences they make. By engaging with such issues, this course will probe and challenge the basic features and functions of our disciplines. We will uncover multiple methodological, statistical and systematic issues that could impair the robustness of scientific claims we encounter every day. We will discuss the controversy around behavioural science and the replicability of its results, while learning about new initiatives that are currently reinventing the basic foundations of our field. The course will equip you with some of the basic tools necessary to conduct robust behavioural science research fit for the 21st century.

The course will be based on a mix of set readings, class seminars and remote lectures. Readings will include a diverse range of journal articles, reviews, editorials, blog posts, newspaper articles, commentaries, podcasts, videos, and tweets. No exams or papers will be set; but come along with a critical eye and a willingness to discuss some difficult and controversial issues.

Core reading: this is a very good book to read in preparation or during the course; it is not available electronically from the University Library but you could request it from your college library

  • Stuart Ritchie (2020). Science Fictions. London, UK: Penguin.

Additional core readings

  • Chris Chambers (2017). The 7 deadly sins of psychology: A manifesto for reforming the culture of scientific practice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Zoltan Dienes (2008). Understanding Psychology as a Science. London, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Sophia Crüwell, Johnny van Doorn, Alexander Etz, Matthew C. Makel, Hannah Moshontz, Jesse C. Niebaum, Amy Orben, Sam Parsons, and Michael Schulte-Mecklenbeck (2019). ‘Seven Easy Steps to Open Science’. Zeitschrift Für Psychologie 227, no. 4: 237–48. https://doi.org/10.1027/2151-2604/a000387.

Structure

 

Michaelmas Term 2021

Date                                                 Topic   Location Access to further course materials (Students with Raven)

Tuesday 12 October 2021 - 3-5pm

TBC                                          

Psychology Lectrure Theatre,  Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EB                                                                                  

Access to the course (Students with Raven)

Tuesday 19 October 2021 - 3-5pm

TBC CBU Lecture Theatre, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 7EF Access to the course (Students with Raven)

Tuesday 26 October 2021 - 3-5pm

TBC Psychology Lectrure Theatre,  Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EB Access to the course (Students with Raven)

Tuesday 2 November 2021 - 3-5pm

TBC CBU Lecture Theatre, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 7EF Access to the course (Students with Raven)
Tuesday 9 November 2021 - 3-5pm TBC Psychology Lectrure Theatre,  Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EB Access to the course (Students with Raven)
Tuesday 16 November 2021 - 3-5pm TBC CBU Lecture Theatre, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 7EF Access to the course (Students with Raven)
Tuesday 23 November 2021 - 3-5pm TBC Psychology Lectrure Theatre,  Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EB Access to the course (Students with Raven)
Tuesday 30 November 2021 - 3-5pm TBC CBU Lecture Theatre, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 7EF Access to the course (Students with Raven)