A Psychometrician’s Guide to Popularity

 

When should you care what other people think of you, if ever? In academia other people’s opinions of you sometimes matter in official ways, like hiring and student evaluations of teaching, as well as in lots informal ways. And in life, let’s face it, we all care. Today we talk about the ways we have coped (or not) with caring what other people think of us. Also: In our letter of the week, we talk about an ambiguous case of who should be a first author. And we definitely do not talk about SIPS.

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, or on Facebook at facebook.com/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 14. It was recorded August 7, 2017.

The Iron Psychologist (with Jamil Zaki)

Today we are delighted to be joined by guest Jamil Zaki. Jamil is an assistant professor at Stanford University and director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Laboratory. We talk with Jamil about The People’s Science, a nonprofit he co-founded that promotes direct engagement between scientists and the public. Plus: In our letter of the week, we talk about when neuroscience adds value to psychological research (and maybe when we’re not so sure). And we tell the story of where the name “The Black Goat” came from.

Discussed in this episode:

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, or on Facebook at facebook.com/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 13. It was recorded June 27, 2017.

‘Cause You’re There For Me Too

Friendships are an important part of life, but one that often gets left out of the conversation about having healthy relationships. Today we talk about maintaining friendships outside of academia – how important (or not?) is it to have those connections, and what role do they play in our lives. Also in this episode: A letter-writer is trying to decide whether to come clean about the p-hacked work that got them tenure. And Simine tells us why she hated getting her first pedicure.

Discussed in this episode:

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, or on Facebook at facebook.com/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 12. It was recorded June 22, 2017.

It’s So Complicated

All three of us were all around, at various career stages, before the “replicability crisis” became a thing. In today’s episode we each share stories of our personal journeys with the larger replicability discussion in psychology, and how we went from clueless to naively optimistic to whatever we are today. Plus: A letter-writer asks how to respond to an advisor who asks you to p-hack. And Alexa tells how her students reacted to her telling them that she is an atheist.

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, or on Facebook at facebook.com/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 11. It was recorded June 21, 2017.

Nullius in verba

When a group of “natural philosophers” got together to found the Royal Society in 1660 – now the oldest scientific society in the world – they chose as their motto a Latin phrase meaning “Take nobody’s word for it.” In today’s episode we talk about the role of trust in science. Trust can mean many things, and we talk about its tension with scientific verifiability, people’s desire for trusting relationships and culture in their field, and the practical value of trust in doing our work. Plus: A letter about whether pressures to fit the mold of a job description or graduate program lead to impostor syndrome. Simine and Sanjay debrief on the ARP conference. And Alexa asks what’s more intellectual, poker or chess?

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, or on Facebook at facebook.com/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 10. It was recorded June 12, 2017.

I Felt Like a Real Scientist

As scientists we are accustomed to knowing the results when we evaluate the quality of research. But is that a good thing? How would it change the way we edit and review research if we had to make our evaluations without knowing the results? And beyond that, how would it change scientific practice itself – the ways we design, conduct, and report our work? We discuss the idea of separating evaluation from results and talk about some common concerns. Plus: Simine debriefs on the APS conference, and we talk about a recent Slate article on Daryl Bem’s ESP research. And we discuss a letter about whether it’s realistic to maintain a 9-to-5 work schedule as a graduate student.

Discussed in this episode:

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, or on Facebook at facebook.com/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 9. It was recorded May 29, 2017.

Confessions of a Replicator (with Rich Lucas)

Rich Lucas has had an impressive career studying well-being: He holds an endowed professorship at Michigan State, he has won numerous awards, and his work is highly influential in psychology, economics, and other fields. So why does he dedicate a sizeable chunk of his time to running replications of other people’s work? We have a conversation with Rich about doing replication research: why he does it, how others have received it, and what it’s like when the replicator becomes the replicatee (is that even a word?). Plus: We answer a letter about whether we have ever considered non-academic careers. And we go off about two of the many things that afflict women in the academic job marketplace.

Discussed in this episode:

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, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com.

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

This is episode 8. It was recorded May 10, 2017.

Dancing On Our Own

Rejection is an inescapable part of being an academic. How do you learn to cope? We share stories of our own professional rejections, talk about the unique joys of getting rejected for different things (grants, jobs, articles), and how our responses to rejection have changed over time. In our letters of the week, we tackle how to find diverse grad students for a lab, and deciding whether to collaborate with someone with a toxic reputation. Plus: Sanjay kind of regrets a joke he made, not for the first time in his life. And we are excited about the upcoming SIPS conference.

Discussed in this episode:

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, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com.

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

This is episode 7. It was recorded April 27, 2017.

Take This Job and Pre-Register It

Going on the job market is stressful already. If you’ve been embracing open science practices in your work, how should you convey that? And will you be embraced as forward-thinking or dismissed as a destructo-warrior? Also: This is the first episode we’ve recorded since we launched and we talk about how it feels weird. And two, count ’em, TWO letters today: The perils of trying to seem knowledgeable and admitting what you don’t know; and should you accept a review request for someone you know is a serial sexual harasser?

Discussed in this episode:

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, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com.

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

This is episode 6. It was recorded April 14, 2017.

Excellence adventures

Universities are increasingly talking about “excellence” as a basis for evaluating scholarship and making strategic decisions. We talk about a recent paper that analyzes the rhetoric around excellence, finds it wanting, and offers up some alternatives. Plus: We get ready for spring “break” (flying to beautiful places to keep working); the controversy around Brian Wansink’s Food and Brand Lab; and should our letter-writer appeal an editorial decision based on an error?

Links discussed:

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, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com.

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

This is episode 5. It was recorded March 20, 2017.