21 Comments

Excellent article. I would like to suggest that while Germany was technically Christian, most of the Nazi elites were not. Same with Russia and the Communists. Both Nazism and Communism can be seen as post-Christian ideologies. What Nietzsche had predicted would happen in Europe due to the "death of God" came true - people began to reject the belief the sacredness of all human life and soon started killing each other by the millions.

Much of what happened after World War 2, with the rise of Social Psychology and the new denial of any important differences between human populations, can be seen as a panic move to stop the spread of fascism and communism in a post-Christian West. We couldn't face the core issues of human inequality, so we made up a new mythology. Instead of valuing all human life for religious reasons, we were told at all human groups are actually equal in all important traits and therefore all human life must be respected equally. Social science assumed the job of the priesthood, with their explanations (apologetics) of the human condition and endless new reasons for why equality wasn't being achieved. Unfortunately, much of the insanity we see today is the result.

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Thank you. I have been hearing this from Stuart Richie & Tom Chivers, from guests of Razib Khan, Tyler Cowan, and Steve Hsu, from Rob Henderson and as far back as Quackwatch. You know where I never heard it, and was dismissed whenever I brought it up? At the state psychiatric hospital I worked at for forty years. This was a thorough summary. Good on you.

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The 13th paragraph links to a study conducted by Francesca Gino (among others).

To anyone interested by a deep dive into why it may be fraudulent, I recommend watching Pete Judo's video:

https://youtu.be/d2Tm3Yx4HWI

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I was aware psychologists were aware of the replication crisis. I'm disappointed to hear it is not being tackled. Such a shame.

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"Only 25-29% of social psychology studies replicated, while cognitive psychology fared better (50-55% of studies replicating)."

I am a big fan of cognitive and other human trait psychology...social psychology not so much.

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I would be interested to know what the author thinks of Aporia magazine's usual view and opinion of intelligence as being highly heritable, showing significant group differences, and not entirely or primarily influenced by environment, contrary to what the author of this article talks about in his book "In the Know". It seems that he is deeply skeptical of IQ as a concept and a science, which makes this article an interesting choice for publication in a journal of hereditarians and self-proclaimed IQ realists. Speaking for myself, I'm currently more convinced by the IQ realists and hereditarians than by the nurture group and IQ skeptics, but I'm always open to changing my mind based on better arguments or scientific evidence. I would greatly appreciate a discussion of this topic on this platform.

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Wrekt, as the kids say. Psychology has always been a "science of the mind" that goes wrong from trying to be a "science of the soul."

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Can I please have source for Zimbardo sending out his results on the second day?

I am biased, I read his book and recall him expressing surprise at some of the results--including his own pleasure at the results, and his partner having to convince him to put a stop to the experiment.

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When I did my psychology degree, the majority of my peers loved social psychology. Evolutionary psychology was an "experimental" course at the time (2017 – may still be), and most people dreaded neuroscience and cognitive psychology. I was the complete opposite.

It was fairly interesting seeing how my fellow graduates then had a completely warped view of the human mind, by primarily ascribing all behaviour to social dynamics, paying no heed to the mechanical (cognitive), biological (evolutionary) and physiological/chemical (neuroscience) factors which are not just more fundamental, but also... not 75% bullshit.

Considering psychology was far from the only academic field steeped in false, social constructionist ideology, it's no wonder the current zeitgeist has an unshakeable obsession with chalking everything up to social power dynamics.

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While psychology was definitely hard hit by the replication crisis, it was hardly alone. In medicine, something like half didn't replicate, and chemistry was similar (from memory). However, unlike those other fields, psychology has been actually trying to improve an innovate better safeguards and protocols. In the Bem study you mention, there was an attempted replication not too long ago which (while of course it didn't find any psi effects), was honestly a marvel in the methods used to ensure quality work.

Science overall has had a nasty blow, because the incentives are messed up and good science is hard to do. Yes, psychology was a big part of it, in part because of bad research practices (and in part because humans, unlike rocks, are reflexive and change our behaviors in response to our knowledge and perception of social contexts). But to pretend it was the only one is kind of dishonest.

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I’d be interested to get feedback on anyone who is familiar with Diane Vaughn’s work on the “normalization of deviance” related to safety issues. I think her work is relevant here. Anybody?

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From experience we know that people will occasionally confirm some group evaluation. Let's say this happens 5% of the time. From experience, we know that: some people conform 20% of the time, while others are contrarians "by nature". We also observe that cultural practices, even the simple solicitation of dissent, can counteract bad behavior.

It's good to study pathologies. But I'm struck that the interpretation is often that we're somewhat stuck with being this way, and with his little focus there is in the question: "what makes certain individuals consistently more rational than others?"

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The cathedral is falling

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Also, I have long been aware of the nonsense about intelligence that you seem to go go directly at in your book "In The Know." I recommend Greg Cochran if you haven't read him on that score (though I'm figuring "Utah...yeah probably.") I will let you know that when I was in a few of the High-Q societies in the late 80s, even some people there would assert those myths - forcefully and insultingly, of course. I have no idea if that has gotten better.

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A social psychology study on the study of social psychology hahaha

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