Friday, February 11, 2011

Dennis the dentist, debunked

Here is an example of psychology textbooks saying something contrary to the better research:
Three articles published [by Brett Pelham et al.] have shown that a disproportionate share of people choose spouses, places to live, and occupations with names similar to their own. These findings, interpreted as evidence of implicit egotism, are included in most modern social psychology textbooks and many university courses. The current article successfully replicates the original findings but shows that they are most likely caused by a combination of cohort, geographic, and ethnic confounds as well as reverse causality.
It seems likely that people will be making bogus arguments for decades, and supporting them with claim that more dentists are named Dennis.

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