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Volume 10, Issue3May/June 1997

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Published 6 times per year by the Association for Psychological Science, the Observer educates and informs on matters affecting the research, academic, and applied disciplines of psychology; promotes the scientific values of APS members; reports on issues of international interest to the psychological science community; and provides a vehicle for the dissemination on information about APS.

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  • Toward a Free Market in Research Ideas

    Stephen Toulmin, the philosopher of science, called a free market of ideas the best safeguard against intellectual tyranny and dishonesty in science. When scientific theories and research reports compete, the best theories and the most robust findings eventually win over the majority of scientists and eliminate weaker and erroneous research. New ideas emerge to challenge the old in a free market. Without the free competition of ideas, popularly favored paradigms dominate research funding, journal publications, and scientific meetings. Unchallenged, the dominant theories become arrogant ideologies that suppress dissenting ideas and stifle advances in research. Power, not truth, becomes the prevailing value that guides inquiry.

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