A Friend You Haven’t Met

Part of academic life means talking to new people about yourself and your work – whether it’s on a job interview, at a conference, or casual conversations outside of academic settings. In this episode we talk about talking to strangers. How do you answer default academic small-talk questions like “tell me about your work?” How do you shake out of them to move a conversation somewhere more interesting? Should you prepare or practice an elevator pitch? And when, if ever, is it safe to take off your headphones on an airplane? Plus: We try to answer a letter about how the academic job market in the U.S. views doctoral degrees from Australia.

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 63. It was recorded on July 17, 2019.

Simine Flips Out

Editors of scientific journals have a lot of power. For one thing, journals are the main way that scientific work is distributed, so editors’ decisions control the flow of information among scientists and to the public. For another, publications are probably the single most consequential product in evaluating scientists for jobs and career advancement. Simine just wrapped up a term as an editor of a journal, and in this episode she reflects on how much power she had, why it was probably too much, and what she could do next about that. Her big idea is to “flip” herself – dedicate her time and energy to posting open reviews of preprints. Preprints are a way for scientists to distribute their work outside of the control of gatekeepers, and we talk about the promises and the perils of open reviewing and how Simine plans to do it in a principled and ethical way. Plus: We answer a letter about talking to colleagues outside the “open science bubble.”

Links:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 62. It was recorded on June 20, 2019.

Bring the Pain

Research methods and statistics are a part of nearly every undergraduate psychology curriculum. They get dedicated courses of their own as well as coverage within other courses. In this episode we step back and reflect on how they should fit into an undergraduate curriculum and how we should be teaching them. Can and should we try to teach them important concepts without the underlying math? How do we integrate methodology into “substantive” teaching about psychology theories and findings? What should we do with the knowledge that many, probably most of our students will never calculate a correlation coefficient or run a t-test after they graduate? How idealistic versus pragmatic should we be about teaching these topics and what we’ll actually get across? Plus: We respond to a letter from a new-ish grad student about mentoring an undergraduate who is writing their first paper. 

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 61. It was recorded on June 19, 2019.

This is How We Do It

Many academics have flexibility in when, where, and how they get work done. In this episode we talk about the work habits we’ve developed to be productive, and the ones we’ve tried on that didn’t fit. What are the differences between working in an office, at home, at a cafe, or elsewhere? How do you create routines and protect your time to get things done? Is it better to work with other people or alone? How do you recognize when the advice that works for everybody else doesn’t work for you? Plus: With some help from sociologist Jill Harrison, we answer a letter from a first-generation college student who’s now in a Ph.D. program and having a hard time talking to family about what that’s about.

Links:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 60. It was recorded on May 31, 2019.

Who’s Down With OPG

Most doctoral training in psychology follows an apprentice model: Grad students affiliate with a primary advisor and lab, and do most of their training under that one person. But what happens when grad students and professors develop professional relationships outside of that traditional model? In this episode we discuss the politics and etiquette of students and faculty interacting and working together outside of the advisor-advisee model. How much control do – and should – advisors have over their advisees? How should faculty go about supporting and criticizing the work of students from other labs? What are the issues involved when faculty intervene (or don’t) in other advisor-advisee relationships? Plus: We answer a letter from an early-career researcher wondering if they should withdraw from a paper that is less rigorous and less open than they would like it to be.

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 59. It was recorded on May 17, 2019.

library(blackgoatpod)

To users of R, it is more than just another way to analyze data – it goes along with a different mindset about the centrality of coding in doing science, a way of thinking about openness and reproducibility, an intersecting set of tools, and a community of users with its own culture and mindset. In this episode we talk about the rise of R within the psychology research community. How has the importance of statistical software changed over time? Should we be teaching R to grads and undergrads? What have our own experiences learning new software been, and can you teach an old goat new tricks? Plus: We answer a letter about how to address ageism on the academic job market.

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 58. It was recorded on May 2, 2019.

Don’t Be Told What You Want, Don’t Be Told What You Need

What if there were no journals? Would academic life be barren and empty, noisy and chaotic, happy and egalitarian, or something else entirely? In this episode we conduct an extended thought experiment about life without journals, in order to probe questions about what journals actually do for us anyway, what are other ways to achieve those things, and how we might overcome the downsides of the current scientific publishing ecosystem. How else could peer review work? How would researchers find information and know what to read? Would we just replace our current heuristics and biases with new ones? Plus: We answer a letter about whether to slow down to do higher-quality research or to focus on flashy results at top journals.

Links:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 57. It was recorded on April 17, 2019.

Don’t Say Integrity

What is the connection between methodology and ethics? In the early days of the twenty-teens, some people referred to the changes afoot in psychology as a “scientific integrity movement,” but that term quickly faded. In this episode, we explore the connections between scientific rigor and scientific ethics. What are the ethical dimensions of good methods? When do we have an ethical obligation to make sure that our studies can answer our questions? Are there ethical obligations that go beyond considerations around protecting human subjects? Why do we sometimes shy away from connecting science reform with ethical behavior? Plus: We answer a letter about data parasites.

Links:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 56. It was recorded on April 12, 2019.

Oh, Behave!

Psychology calls itself a behavioral science, but how often do we measure actual behavior? In this episode we discuss what is involved in measuring realistic, meaningful behavior in psychology research – not just self-reports and response times. What counts as “behavior” anyway? Why does it seem like psychologists measure less behavior than they used to? What are the scientific, professional, or logistical reasons why researchers decide not to measure behavior? Our discussion is anchored around an article by Roy Baumeister, Kathleen Vohs, and David Funder with the delightful title “Psychology as the Science of Self-Reports and Finger Movements: Whatever Happened to Actual Behavior?” (linked below). Plus: We answer a letter about whether or how to try to get a retention offer as you are advancing in your career.

Links:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 55. It was recorded on March 18, 2019.

13/10 Would Criticize Again

If you are a scientist, criticizing science is a part of the job. We write peer reviews of papers and grants; after talks we ask questions, make comments, and ask questions that are more of a comment; and sometimes we even run replications or new studies to test each other’s conclusions. But the scientific ecosystem does not have people who hold the dedicated job of science critic, in the way that fields like art, theater, and music have critics. In this episode we consider an argument made by philosopher Don Ihde that the scientific ecosystem needs such people too – people whose job it is to criticize science from outside the day-to-day practice of it. What is the case for dedicated critics? Are there important kinds of criticism that scientists are not currently making? What would that job look like, and how would it differ from the peer criticism that scientists currently do? Plus: We respond to a letter about how to start getting asked to review papers.

Links:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 54. It was recorded on February 18, 2019.