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Department of Psychology

Dr Amy Orben

Michaelmas Term 2021

Access to the course (Students with Raven)

Date                  Topic Location         Course Access
Tuesday 12 October 2021 - 3-5pm Introduction - Overview of the course contents and aims; the scientific process; Merton’s norms; the replicationcrisis and how it began; defining Open Science.                                                                                                Psychology Lecture Theatre,  Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EB Access to the course (Students with Raven)
Tuesday 19 October 2021 - 3-5pm Replications - Replications and why they started a crisis; understanding replications; backlash and counterbacklash;
replications in other disciplines; the Many Labs movement.
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 Questionable Resarch Practices - Defining and discussing Questionable Research Practices and their influence on scientific inference in psychology; false-positive psychology and researcher degrees of freedom; multiverse approaches. Psychology Lecture Theatre,  Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EB Access to the course (Students with Raven)
Tuesday 2 November 2021 - 3-5pm Open Science Day special - This lecture will be part of the MRC CBU Open Science Day and will focus on research culture. Amy will share more information about this in due course.

CBU Lecture Theatre, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 7EF

CBU Open Science Day (will be happening all day)

Access to the course (Students with Raven)
Tuesday 9 November 2021 - 3-5pm Pre-registration and Registerd Reports - Pre-registration and Registered Reports; the split between exploratory and confirmatory hypothesis testing; arguments for and against the drive towards preregistration; scientific creativity; blinded analyses Psychology Lecture Theatre,  Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EB Access to the course (Students with Raven)
Tuesday 16 November 2021 - 3-5pm Frand, Errors and Scientific Self-Correction - Understanding what makes fraud different from errors; methods used to detect errors; whether scientific self-correction is myth or reality; scientific errors and debates about how to address them. 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 Journals, Publishing and Computational Reproducibility - Introduction to the for-profit publishing model; new forms of publishing; pre-prints; Open Access; peer review; Open Data On Zoom Access to the course (Students with Raven)
Tuesday 30 November 2021 - 3-5pm Psychology as a Robust Science - What makes robust inferences; triangulation and causality; theory and measurement; incentives and next steps. CBU Lecture Theatre, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 7EF Access to the course (Students with Raven)

This course is relevant for any behavioural, neural or clinical scientists with some focus on experimental and/or quantitative methodology.

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 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

  1. You will be asked to read the syllabus before the session, and do any required reading or activities.
  2. The in-person teaching on Tuesdays will start with a 1-hour lecture (3-4pm), a recording of which will be available after the course. There will be a break after the lecture and before the seminar.
  3. We will engage in a 1-hour seminar (4-5pm), these will allow you to ask questions, discuss controversial topics and unresolved issues with your classmates and hear from some ‘special guest’ experts in the field.

While the seminars (4-5pm) are not mandatory to attend they are highly recommended.