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Rise in Reporting p-Values as “Marginally Significant”

A researcher collects data, runs a statistical test, and finds that the p value is approximately .07. What happens next? According to a study conducted by Laura Pritschet (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Derek Powell (University of California, Los Angeles), and Zachary Horne (also at the University of Illinois), that researcher may be likely to report that result as “marginally significant” — not quite significant, but getting there. While it may be common, Pritschet and colleagues argue that this practice is “rooted in serious statistical misconceptions” and is likely to lead to false-positive errors (and sometimes false negatives, too). To make matters worse, evidence suggests that this practice is on the rise.

Pritschet, Powell, and Horne note that the practice of reporting marginally-significant results is problematic for two main reasons. First, the field of psychological science has no agreed-upon standards for how and when results should be reported…


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The Apple of the Mind’s Eye

This image is of an Apple store.With its simple design, the Apple Inc. logo is one of the most recognizable emblems in the world. But how well do people remember details of the icon? Which way does the leaf point? Is the bitten section on the right or left side?

Psychological scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), under the leadership of Alan D. Castel, examined participants’ recall for these details on the ubiquitous logo, and the degree to which metamemory (i.e., confidence judgments) match memory performance.

The study borrows from a classic study that showed that people often have difficulty recognizing the correct locations of features on a US penny. That 1979 study by APS…


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Psychological Science Badge Program Encourages Open Practices, Study Shows

This is an illustration of a magnifying glass over data on a laptop screen.A new analysis indicates that the Open Practices Badge program launched two years ago in Psychological Science has positioned APS’s flagship journal at the forefront of the research transparency and openness movement in scientific publishing.

In an article published May 12, 2016, in the online journal PLoS Biology, a team of researchers from the Center for Open Science (COS) report an overall 10-fold increase in data sharing in papers published in Psychological Science since the badge program’s debut in May 2014.

The team, led by COS co-founder and executive director Brian Nosek, also an APS Fellow, found no change in rates of data sharing during that time among four other empirical psychology journals.

The open practices badge program encourages authors to engage in open research…


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Graham Presents Findings From NAS Bullying Report

This is a photo of APS Board Member Sandra Graham.APS Board Member Sandra Graham was among the eminent researchers who presented findings on May 10 from a new National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report on school bullying, including the burgeoning and complex cyberbullying phenomenon. Graham, whose research interests include the social interactions and academic behaviors of children of color, holds the Presidential Chair in Education and Diversity at the University of California, Los Angeles. She also has published a broad variety of articles in developmental, behavioral, and educational psychology journals.

The event was held at the National Academies of Sciences building in Washington, D.C. Frederick P. Rivara, Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association Endowed Chair in Pediatric Health Outcomes Research, and…


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Psychological Scientists Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

This is a photo of a stack of academic books.A total of 11 psychological scientists, all of whom are APS Fellows, have been elected as members of the 2016 class of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The academy is “one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors,” and includes 4,600 members from many disciplines and professions.

Of the newest class of members, John D. Gabrieli was elected to the Mathematical and Physical Sciences class, Neurosciences, Cognitive Sciences, and Behavioral Biology section.

Elections to the Social Sciences class, Social and Developmental Psychology and Education section, include Michelene T.H. Chi, Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Jeffrey L. Elman, John T. Monahan, and Past APS Board Member Elke U. Weber. Gerd Gigerenzer was…


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