Concept question 20

And yet you can get meaningful results.

Concept question 20

March 6 8: How can so many scientists have been so wrong? In the history of psychology, there has never been a more important chocolate-y aroma.

Concept question 20

Baumeister and Tice stacked their fresh-baked cookies on a plate, beside a bowl of red and white radishes, and brought in a parade of student volunteers. They told some of the students to hang out for a while unattended, eating only from the bowl of radishes, while another group ate only cookies. Afterward, each volunteer tried to solve a puzzle, one that was designed to be impossible to complete.

Baumeister and Tice timed the students in the puzzle task, to see how long it took them to give up. The group of kids who noshed on radishes flubbed the puzzle test. They lasted just eight minutes before they quit in frustration.

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We all have a limited supply of willpower, and it decreases with overuse. That simple idea—perhaps intuitive for nonscientists, but revolutionary in the field—turned into a research juggernaut.

Poverty-stricken day laborers in rural India might wear themselves out simply by deciding whether to purchase a bar of soap. Dogs might waste their willpower by holding back from eating chow. White people might lose mental strength when they tried to talk about racial politics with a black scientist.

Ina group of researchers led by Martin Hagger put out a meta-analysis of the field—a study of published studies—to find out whether this sort of research could be trusted. InBaumeister and John Tierney of the New York Times published a science-cum-self-help book based around this research.

Concept question 20

Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strengthadvised readers on how the science of ego depletion could be put to use. And if willpower works like a muscle, then regular exercise could boost its strength.

But that story is about to change. A paper now in press, and due to publish next month in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, describes a massive effort to reproduce the main effect that underlies this work.

Comprising more than 2, subjects tested at two-dozen different labs on several continents, the study found exactly nothing. A zero-effect for ego depletion: A study out last summer tried to replicate psychology experiments one-for-one and found that just 40 percent of those replications were successful.

A critique of that study just appeared last week, claiming that the original authors made statistical errors—but that critique has itself been attacked for misconstruing factsignoring evidenceand indulging in some wishful thinking.

Advertisement For scientists and science journalists, this back and forth is worrying. The new study of ego depletion has much higher stakes: Instead of warning us that any single piece of research might be unreliable, the new paper casts a shadow on a fully-formed research literature.

Or, to put it another way: It takes aim not at the single paper but at the Big Idea. The effect has been recreated in hundreds of different ways, and the underlying concept has been verified via meta-analysis. And yet, it now appears that ego depletion could be completely bogus, that its foundation might be made of rotted-out materials.

As a graduate student at the University of Miami, Carter set out to recreate the lemonade effectfirst described inwhereby the consumption of a sugary drink staves off the loss of willpower. To figure out what went wrong, Carter reviewed the meta-analysis—the study using data from 83 studies and experiments.

The closer he looked at the paper, though, the less he believed in its conclusions. First, the meta-analysis included only published studies, which meant the data would be subject to a standard bias in favor of positive results.

Second, it included studies with contradictory or counterintuitive measures of self-control. One study, for example, suggested that depleted subjects would give more money to charity while another said depleted subjects would spend less time helping a stranger.

For a second paper published last year, Carter and McCullough completed a second meta-analysis that included different studies, including 48 experiments that had never been published.Jean Bodin (c.

Infinity Is a Beautiful Concept – And It's Ruining Physics

—) The humanist philosopher and jurist Jean Bodin was one of the most prominent political thinkers of the sixteenth century. Concept questions are something which teachers often learn about in their initial training and then promptly discard once no-one is watching.

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Infinity Is a Beautiful Concept – And It's Ruining Physics