Not So Sure Anymore About that Paper You Published? Maybe the Loss of Confidence Project Is For You.
[From the blog post, “Scientists Rarely Admit Mistakes. A New Project Wants to Change That.” by Dalmeet Singh Chawla, published at Undark]
“IN SEPTEMBER 2016, the psychologist Dana Carney came forward with a confession: She no longer believed the findings of a high-profile study she co-authored in 2010 to be true. The study was about “power-posing” — a theory suggesting that powerful stances can psychologically and physiologically help one when under high-pressure situations. Carney’s co-author, Amy Cuddy, a psychologist at Harvard University, had earned much fame from power poses, and her 2012 TED talk on the topic is the second most watched talk of all time.”
“Carney, now based at the University of California, Berkeley, had, however, changed her mind. “I do not believe that ‘power pose’ effects are real,” she wrote on her website in 2016.”
“…Carney’s change of heart and the pointed questions surrounding power pose research typifies the replication crisis that has dogged fields like social psychology for years. Some researchers have gone so far as to suggest that most published research findings are false.”
“Of course, some researchers have argued that the replication crisis is exaggerated. But even if that is the case, there really is no effective way for scientists to quickly and publicly inform colleagues that they are no longer confident in their published work. Public declarations like Carney’s are one way to go, but they are often difficult to track. So an ambitious new effort, motivated by Carney’s move, is encouraging psychologists to own up to shortcomings in their published work via a website in the form of official loss-of-confidence statements — published at a single online clearinghouse for such confessions called the Loss of Confidence Project.”