Primed for Controversy

The New York Times:

In 2005, the writer Malcolm Gladwell introduced readers to the phenomenon of “thinking without thinking” — the mental work we all do automatically — in his blockbuster book “Blink.”

Since then, the unconscious has been on a roll. Scores of popular books and articles have chronicled the power of subtle cues to influence our attitudes and actions.

Typical of the genre is a reliance on the “goal-priming effect,” in which study subjects automatically and unintentionally alter their thoughts or behavior when prompted by various kinds of information.

In response, last year a group of psychologists established the Reproducibility Project, which aims to replicate the first 30 studies published in three high-profile psychology journals in the year 2008.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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