Essay:Dirty little secrets in psychological research

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  1. Ethic boards never read your application, they glance over it briefly to make sure you aren't killing your subjects, then demand pages of revisions from predefined list for every application. These revision requests often include suggestions you painstakingly point out in your application that you are doing anyway.
  2. Undergraduates are used for almost all research participants. Undergraduates are amazingly dense, with vast majorities of them being completely unable to understand even the simplest of tasks. Huge amounts of data are worthless because participants do worse than randomly pressing keys with your forehead.
  3. Desperate to justify the time and costs, experimenters spend countless hours finding ways to group data in some way that it looks salvageable. This is often accompanied by randomly pasting data into "black box" statistic programs and running thousands of two-way comparisons till you find something that is significant.
  4. 99.99999999 percent of all published research will never even attempt to be replicated. You will be safe with your post-hoc black box analysis cause no one has time to make sure it is real effect.