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.


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.