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Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Dodgy sex-psychology paper lastly gets pulled back

Dodgy sex-psychology paper lastly gets pulled back

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Enlarge / Floppy data leads to abandoned high-heels research. Two years ago, Ars published a story about some famous psychology research that smelled... off. Psychologist Nicolas Guéguen's flashy findings on human sexuality appeared to be riddled with errors and inconsistencies, and two researchers had raised an alarm. Now, four years after James Heathers and Nick…
Financial investment supervisors do not comprehend how to rate funds handled by black individuals

Financial investment supervisors do not comprehend how to rate funds handled...

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Science has struggled to increase the diversity of the research community, trying to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute to humanity's advances. But science's struggles are nothing compared to those of the financial industry, where only about 1% of fund managers are women or minorities. While there have been some efforts made…
Spin in psychiatric scientific trial reports is extensive

Spin in psychiatric scientific trial reports is extensive

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Enlarge / The drugs totally work. We swear. It's not just longform journalism and apoplectic Internet commenters that prompt a "tl;dr" from readers. Research papers trigger it, too, as scientists are so inundated with the volume of new results that just barely keeping up is a struggle. According to University of Oxford psychiatrist Michael Sharpe,…
When it pertains to ethical choices, testosterone does not appear to do much

When it pertains to ethical choices, testosterone does not appear to...

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Enlarge / The trolley problem brought to (after) life. NBC The Trolley Problem is a staple of ethics courses and has even made its way into prime-time television. It's a problem because it forces people to decide between two options that are both considered highly ethical: not choosing to kill someone, and minimizing the total…
Test efficiency, gender, and temperature level

Test efficiency, gender, and temperature level

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As we move from a season marked by unstoppable heating units and into one dominated by aggressive air conditioning. Figuring out how to optimize the thermostat involves a balancing of individual comfort and energy efficiency. But a new study suggests that there's an additional factor that should feed into decisions: the performance of any employees…
Hunter-gathering appears to have actually been much easier than farming

Hunter-gathering appears to have actually been much easier than farming

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Enlarge / An Agta family relaxing in the afternoon. Mark Dyble For most of our history, humans got hold of food like any other animal: by hunting and foraging, moving around to find the best resources. Settling down in one place to cultivate crops is a comparatively recent development. But once it started around 12,000…
Young boys, the rich, and Canadians (?) talk the most BS

Young boys, the rich, and Canadians (?) talk the most BS

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The existence of what's colloquially known as "bullshit"—a combination of lies, exaggerations, and inaccuracies that makes it hard to figure out what the truth is—is familiar to all of us. Most of us have come across an individual so skilled in deploying it to advance their goals that we refer to them as "bullshit artists."…
Individuals who live near wind turbines choose them to solar and fossil plants

Individuals who live near wind turbines choose them to solar and...

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Enlarge / Wind turbines near Palm Springs, Calif. More and more people are finding themselves with a new neighbor: a commercial electricity-generating system. As electricity grids move from centralized fossil fuel plants to decentralized renewables, the world is switching from fewer, larger plants to more, smaller ones. For some people, this means they're looking out…
Food developments altered our mouths, which in turn altered our languages

Food developments altered our mouths, which in turn altered our languages

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Enlarge / Soft grains, dairy, and preserved food may have changed our mouths—and ultimately our languages. Something deep in the history of the German language pulled speech sounds toward hisses rather than pops. Words like that and ship end with a small popping sound in English, Dutch, and other Germanic languages—but in German, they end…
The duplication crisis might likewise be a theory crisis

The duplication crisis might likewise be a theory crisis

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Enlarge / A jumbled jigsaw puzzle, AKA the state of theory in the behavioral sciences. A replication crisis has called into question results from behavioral (and other) sciences. Complaints have focused on poor statistical methods, the burying of negative results, and other “questionable research practices” that undermine the quality of individual studies. But methods are…

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