The Perils of ‘Bite-Sized Science’

The Wall Street Journal:

When I wrote, not long ago, about recent debates over possible flaws in the statistical methods used by academic psychologists* — or sloppy application of sound methods — I quoted one young researcher who said that short, punchy academic articles were more likely to be flawed than longer, more-comprehensive articles.

That’s because the longer articles poke and prod findings from different angles, in perhaps a half-dozen different experiments (rather than two or three). This leads to less-readable work, frankly, and work that’s harder to boil down into a quick news item.

The authors of a new article, “Bite-Size Science and Its Undesired Side Effects,” to appear in Perspectives on Psychological Science,  say that pith has its costs. Tom Bartlett, at the Chronicle of Higher Education’s excellent Percolator blog, quotes a passage from the paper that’s explicitly critical of Psychological Science (one of my go-to journals, because its articles are both concise and reliably fascinating)

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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