Peer review “does not mean the science is good”

In Psychology Today, George Mason professor Todd Kashdan publishes a brutally honest critique of some of his published work:

“Just because research is published in a peer-reviewed journal by a reputable publisher does not mean the science is good.”

“I had to read through 40 articles to find one that suggested hands-free phones are not that hazardous to driving…but I did it, and now you too can tout scientific evidence that the hazards are overblown!”

“Often our research program starts off slow and I am not confident about each finding that comes out of my laboratory (or from other laboratories). I stay attuned to the main objective of why I am a psychologist…understand some of the mysteries of human behavior and in some small way, reduce the amount of suffering and increase the amount of well-being in the world. This cannot be done with a premature commitment to being right. This cannot be done by blindly accepting theories, research, and treatments that other people promote. But the key is to be skeptical, not cynical. Be curious, keep experimenting, keep learning, and most importantly, keep asking questions. And part of this storyline is to be naked, exposed, and vulnerable every once in awhile.”

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