Body Talk

Many psychologists study the brain or the body in relation to the mind. Alexa once thought psychophysiology and neuroscience would become a central part of her research; Sanjay flirted with the idea; Simine never seriously considered it. In this episode, we talk about how we see neuroscience and psychophysiology in relation to our own work. How well would those areas integrate into the research each of us does? What sorts of psychological questions are they not particularly well suited for? What do we think they are good for? What kinds of things do we learn from our colleagues who’ve made studying the brain and body a central part of what they do? Plus: A letter about avoiding taking money from funders who go against your values.

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

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 48. It was recorded in two parts on December 3, 2018.

 

This Time Could Be Different (with Fiona Fidler)

The open science movement is not the first time psychology has tried to reform itself. Why do some scientific reform movements succeed and others fizzle out? In this episode we talk with Fiona Fidler, a philosopher and historian of science at the University of Melbourne. Fiona’s doctoral thesis was an investigation of a decades-spanning attempt to reform statistical practice in psychology based on critiques of null hypothesis significance testing. Her research included interviews with reform proponents like Patricia Cohen, Paul Meehl, and Robert Rosenthal; reviews of the correspondence and output of the APA Task Force on Statistical Inference; and close study of how several psychology journals attempted to implement reform. The statistical reform movement came to what many saw as an unsatisfying end. We talk with Fiona about what we can learn from it – and crucially, why this time could be different. Plus: We answer a letter from a graduate student whose advisor’s temperament has changed.

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.

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 47. It was recorded in two parts on November 15 and November 25, 2018.

Relevant To Your Interests

Scientists, like all humans, care about more than one thing in life. Scientists want to discover true or useful things about the world. But we are not indifferent to money, prestige, loyalty to friends and family, or other important things. How should scientists deal with situations where more than just our pure scientific ideals are on the line? In this episode we discuss conflicts of interest. What are conflicts of interest anyway? What are commonly occurring ones? Why does our field of psychology seem to have an underdeveloped set of norms and regulations for dealing with them? And how can and should we change to do better? Plus: We answer a letter about how little or how much guidance to give undergrads to develop their own research interests.

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.

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 46. It was recorded on October 31, 2018.

Testing 1-2-3

Personality tests are perennially popular – good ones and bad ones alike. In this episode we talk about personality testing in the public sphere. What do we think accounts for their popularity. What do people get out of taking them? What distinguishes good ones from bad ones? And we spend a little time trying to guess each other’s Big Five profiles. Plus: A letter about raising open science when you’re applying to graduate school.

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.

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

This is episode 45. It was recorded on October 16, 2018.

Our Most Significant Episode Ever

p-values. Love them or hate them, they are everywhere in science. In this episode we talk about some of our thoughts and feelings about this ubiquitous statistics. What are the drawbacks and benefits to dichotomizing results into “significant” and “nonsignificant”? What do we think of other statistical approaches as alternatives or complements, like effect size estimation or Bayes factors? Do we ever actually care about what p-values actually represent (the probability of data given a hypothesis)? And with no small trepidation, we wade into the Alpha Wars, a.k.a. the discussion and debate around a trio of papers representing different views on how p-values should be used in research. Plus: We respond to a letter about suppressing research findings when they conflict with your morals

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.

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

This is episode 43. It was recorded on October 3, 2018.

Don’t Trust Me, I’m A Doctor

“Public trust in science is declining” is a common refrain – but it turns out that it isn’t true, or at best it’s complicated. In this episode we discuss whether, when, and why the public should trust science. Why is public trust in science important anyway? How should people decide whether to trust research they cannot technically evaluate? Should scientists avoid criticizing each other in public because it will erode our public image? What is a scientific consensus, when should you take one as a valid indicator, and when shouldn’t you? Plus: We answer a letter about preparing for the job market when you have focused your training on methods and skills rather than a coherent subject area.

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.

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

This is episode 43. It was recorded on September 27, 2018.

What Comes Next?

Getting tenure and being promoted to associate or full professor are huge milestones in an academic career path. In this episode we talk about what comes afterward. What does it feel like and how long does that last? Do you keep going in the same direction or pause to take stock and make a switch? What new responsibilities and other surprises come at you and how do you handle them? And now that you have more autonomy, how can you be less beholden to other people’s ideas of what defines success? Plus: We answer a letter about finding eminent scientists for awards and lectures when you have doubts about how people have acquired their eminence.

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.

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

This is episode 42. It was recorded on September 10, 2018.

Nobody Goes There Anymore, It’s Too Crowded

Conferences are expensive, carbon-belching, superficial prestige-fests. At least, that’s what some people will tell you. In this episode we consider some of the arguments against academic conferences. Are they really worth the costs to the individual and to the planet? Can you actually communicate scientific substance in a conference or a talk? Are keynotes just warmed-over nuggets from your old Psych 101 class? And what are you even supposed to get out of conferences anyway? We discuss these arguments and relay some of our own dissatisfactions, but we also talk about why we keep going anyway. Plus: We answer a letter about breaking in to academic Twitter.

Link:

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.

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

This is episode 41. It was recorded in two parts, on August 24 and September 3, 2018.

Being Different

In this episode we tell personal stories about being different, and we reflect on how our identities and experiences – in life and in professional spheres – have been shaped by that. Sanjay talks about growing up multiracial and trying to figure out what that meant while the world was trying to define it for him. Simine talks about not conforming to gender expectations and the assumptions and reality about sexual orientation that go with that. Alexa talks about how her understanding of her own romantic and sexual attractions and interests evolved over time and how she started dating women. Along the way we identify some common themes in our experiences: Feeling constrained by the neat little boxes the world gives us, even when it’s an expanded set of boxes. The tension between wanting to assert an important part of your identity and not wanting to claim experiences that the world will assume you had. And the importance of getting to tell your own story.

Plus: This week’s letter is about what to do when reviewers and committee members send you on wild goose chases. And we have a very serious discussion about pooping in the woods.

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.

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

This is episode 40. It was recorded August 16, 2018.

Psychological Science Is Made Out Of People

We aren’t analyzing you right now, we can’t help you with your problems, and regardless of whether your Uncle Horace would make a great case study we aren’t interested in meeting him. So what are these psychology degrees good for anyway then? In today’s episode we talk about how our training and work as psychologists has influenced us as people. Are psychologists are good or bad at relating to others (and how much of the answer is about self-selection versus causation)? Has being a researcher made us more analytical outside of our research? How do we react when people bring up astrology or the Myers-Briggs? Plus: We respond to a letter about when doing more replications turns into beating a dead horse.

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.

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

This is episode 39. It was recorded August 2, 2018.