Closed Thinking

Closed Thinking

Without scientific competition and open debate, much psychology research goes nowhere

By Bruce Bower, 11:39 AM May 16, 2013

In its idealized form, science resembles a championship boxing match. Theories square off, each vying for the gold belt engraved with “Truth.” Under the stern eyes of a host of referees, one theory triumphs by best explaining available evidence — at least until the next bout.

But in the real world, science sometimes works more like a fashion show. Researchers clothe plausible explanations of experimental findings in glittery statistical suits and gowns. These gussied-up hypotheses charm journ...

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