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Psychology

The Logic of Causal Conclusions: How we know that fire burns, fertilizer helps plants grow, and vaccines prevent disease

I usually cringe when I read a comment by a skeptic arguing that “correlation does not prove causation”. Of course, it’s true that correlation does not prove causation. It’s even true that correlation does not always imply causation. There are many great examples of spurious correlations which demonstrate clearly just how silly it is to extrapolate cause from correlation. And

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Eyewitness Memory: Wrongfully Convicted


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I felt compelled to write about eyewitness memory by a recent blog entry which I feel paints a misleading picture of the nature of memory and the (un)reliability of eyewitness memory.

Other skeptics have written about the subject and coverage has ranged from the pretty good to not so great. This blog post is somewhere in between. I have

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Grey Walls Kill Sex and Other Myths

Just the color of the room can play a huge role in how we feel and act. Paint the walls blue, and studies show you may be more creative. Paint them red, and you may be more vigilant or more sexy. Change to green to calm yourself down. But if you really want something off the wall, paint those walls

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Hope for Narcissists? Not Here.

A piece by Joseph Brean that I read recently displayed the headline New hope for narcissists: New Canadian study suggests there may be a cure for self-centred[sic] grandiosity after all. My first thought was “I doubt it.”

ResearchBlogging.org

The press release for this study is pretty accurate and, although I have some criticisms of the study, the journal article doesn’t

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On Oversimplification and Certainty

Responses to requests, demands, and criticism in the blogosphere in recent months has prompted a great deal of discussion, most of it terribly unproductive. In fact, most of it has been downright silly – a childish back-and-forth which, to an outsider, might appear to be violent agreement. In other words, camps do not appear to disagree, in general, about

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