Brain's Idea

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I post about science, the brain and the mind. Find me on twitter: @brainsidea

Richard Kunert
45 posts

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  • April 25, 2016
  • 06:39 AM
  • 107 views

Yet more evidence for questionable research practices in original studies of Reproducibility Project: Psychology

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

The replicability of psychological research is surprisingly low. Why? In this blog post I present new evidence showing that questionable research practices are at the heart of failures to replicate psychological effects. Quick recap. A recent publication in Science claims that only around 40% of psychological findings are replicable, based on 100 replication attempts in […]... Read more »

Asendorpf, J., Conner, M., De Fruyt, F., De Houwer, J., Denissen, J., Fiedler, K., Fiedler, S., Funder, D., Kliegl, R., Nosek, B.... (2013) Recommendations for Increasing Replicability in Psychology. European Journal of Personality, 27(2), 108-119. DOI: 10.1002/per.1919  

Gerber, A., Malhotra, N., Dowling, C., & Doherty, D. (2010) Publication Bias in Two Political Behavior Literatures. American Politics Research, 38(4), 591-613. DOI: 10.1177/1532673X09350979  

Head ML, Holman L, Lanfear R, Kahn AT, & Jennions MD. (2015) The extent and consequences of p-hacking in science. PLoS biology, 13(3). PMID: 25768323  

  • April 14, 2016
  • 07:52 AM
  • 172 views

10 things I learned while working for the Dutch science funding council (NWO)

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

  The way science is currently funded is very controversial. During the last 6 months I was on a break from my PhD and worked for the organisation funding science in the Netherlands (NWO). These are 10 insights I gained. 1) Belangenverstrengeling This is the first word I learned when arriving in The Hague. There is […]... Read more »

  • March 19, 2016
  • 07:56 AM
  • 184 views

Is Replicability in Economics better than in Psychology?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Colin Camerer and colleagues recently published a Science article on the replicability of behavioural economics. ‘It appears that there is some difference in replication success’ between psychology and economics, they write, given their reproducibility rate of 61% and psychology’s of 36%. I took a closer look at the data to find out whether there really […]... Read more »

Camerer, C., Dreber, A., Forsell, E., Ho, T., Huber, J., Johannesson, M., Kirchler, M., Almenberg, J., Altmejd, A., Chan, T.... (2016) Evaluating replicability of laboratory experiments in economics. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0918  

  • March 15, 2016
  • 12:47 PM
  • 211 views

Psychological researchers need to change their practices: here’s why

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Why is a surprising amount of psychological research unreplicable? Psychology calls itself a science but often falls short on the replication test of scientific merit. I took a closer look at the data to find out why. The journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review will publish the findings very soon, but the accepted pre-print is already […]... Read more »

  • February 9, 2016
  • 12:51 PM
  • 297 views

How language changes the way you hear music

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

In a new paper I, together with Roel Willems and Peter Hagoort, show that music and language are tightly coupled in the brain. Get the gist in a 180 second youtube clip and then try out what my participants did. The task my participants had to do might sound very abstract to you, so let […]... Read more »

  • November 22, 2015
  • 09:14 AM
  • 387 views

Are pre-registrations the solution to the replication crisis in Psychology? Not really.

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Most psychology findings are not replicable. What can be done? In his Psychological Science editorial, Stephen Lindsay advertises pre-registration as the solution, writing that “Personally, I aim never again to submit for publication a report of a study that was not preregistered”. I took a look at whether pre-registrations are effective and feasible [TL;DR: no […]... Read more »

  • November 6, 2015
  • 06:47 AM
  • 494 views

Broca’s area processes both music and language at the same time

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

When you read a book and listen to music, the brain doesn’t keep these two tasks nicely separated. In a new article just out, I show that there is a brain area which is busy with both tasks at the same time (Kunert et al., 2015). This brain area might tell us a lot about […]... Read more »

  • September 5, 2015
  • 06:21 AM
  • 569 views

Are internal replications the solution to the replication crisis in Psychology? No.

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Most Psychology findings are not replicable. What can be done? Stanford psychologist Michael Frank has an idea : Cumulative study sets with internal replication. ‘If I had to advocate for a single change to practice, this would be it.’ I took a look whether this makes any difference. A recent paper in the journal Science […]... Read more »

  • September 3, 2015
  • 06:23 AM
  • 501 views

Why are Psychological findings mostly unreplicable?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Take 97 psychological effects from top journals which are claimed to be robust. How many will replicate? Brian Nosek and his huge team tried it out and the results were sobering, to say the least. How did we get here? The data give some clues. Sometimes the title of a paper just sounds incredible. Estimating […]... Read more »

  • June 3, 2015
  • 04:31 AM
  • 593 views

Do music and language share brain resources?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

When you listen to some music and when you read a book, does your brain use the same resources? This question goes to the heart of how the brain is organised – does it make a difference between cognitive domains like music and language? In a new commentary I highlight a successfull approach which helps […]... Read more »

Kunert, R., & Slevc, L.R. (2015) A commentary on “Neural overlap in processing music and speech” (Peretz et al., 2015) . Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. info:/doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00330

Peretz I, Vuvan D, Lagrois MÉ, & Armony JL. (2015) Neural overlap in processing music and speech. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 370(1664), 20140090. PMID: 25646513  

  • May 28, 2015
  • 05:01 PM
  • 580 views

Why does humanity get smarter and smarter?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Intelligence tests have to be adjusted all the time because people score higher and higher. If the average human of today went 105 years back in time, s/he would score 130, be considered as gifted, and join clubs for highly intelligent people. How can that be? The IQ growth The picture above shows the development […]... Read more »

Pietschnig J, & Voracek M. (2015) One Century of Global IQ Gains: A Formal Meta-Analysis of the Flynn Effect (1909-2013). Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 10(3), 282-306. PMID: 25987509  

  • December 16, 2014
  • 07:14 AM
  • 580 views

The scientific community’s Galileo affair (you’re the Pope)

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Science is in crisis. Everyone in the scientific community knows about it but few want to talk about it. The crisis is one of honesty. A junior scientist (like me) asks himself a similar question to Galileo in 1633: how much honesty is desirable in science? Science Wonderland According to nearly all empirical scientific publications […]... Read more »

  • November 19, 2014
  • 03:10 PM
  • 1,126 views

The real reason why new pop music is so incredibly bad

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

You have probably heard that Pink Floyd recently published their new album Endless River. Will this bring back the wonderful world of good music after the endless awfulness of the popular music scene in the last 20 years or so? Is good music, as we know it from the 60s and 70s, back for good? […]... Read more »

  • November 6, 2014
  • 04:25 AM
  • 727 views

Memory training boosts IQ

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Is the IQ set in stone once we hit adulthood? ‘Yes it is’ used to be the received wisdom. A new meta-analysis challenges this view and gives hope to all of us who feel that mother nature should have endowed us with more IQ points. But is the training worth it? Intelligence increases in adults […]... Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 09:43 AM
  • 678 views

Dyslexia: trouble reading ‘four’

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Dyslexia affects about every tenth reader. It shows up when trying to read, especially when reading fast. But it is still not fully clear what words dyslexic readers find particularly hard. So, I did some research to find out, and I published the article today. Imagine seeing a new word ‘bour’. How would you pronounce […]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 03:33 AM
  • 903 views

Old people are immune against the cocktail party effect

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Imagine standing at a cocktail party and somewhere your name gets mentioned. Your attention is immediately grabbed by the sound of your name. It is a classic psychological effect with a new twist: old people are immune. The so-called cocktail party effect has fascinated researchers for a long time. Even though you do not consciously […]... Read more »

Naveh-Benjamin M, Kilb A, Maddox GB, Thomas J, Fine HC, Chen T, & Cowan N. (2014) Older adults do not notice their names: A new twist to a classic attention task. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition. PMID: 24820668  

  • September 17, 2014
  • 05:56 PM
  • 719 views

Why are ethical standards higher in science than in business and media?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Facebook manipulates user content in the name of science? Scandalous! It manipulates user content in the name of profit? No worries! Want to run a Milgram study these days? Get bashed by your local ethics committee! Want to show it on TV? No worries. Why do projects which seek knowledge have higher ethical standards than […]... Read more »

Kramer AD, Guillory JE, & Hancock JT. (2014) Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(24), 8788-90. PMID: 24889601  

Milgram, S. (1963) Behavioral Study of obedience. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67(4), 371-378. info:/doi: 10.1037/h0040525

  • September 15, 2014
  • 04:57 AM
  • 670 views

How to increase children’s patience in 5 seconds

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

A single act increases adults’ compliance with researchers. The same act makes students more likely to volunteer to solve math problems in front of others. Moreover, it makes four-year-olds more patient. What sounds like a miracle cure to everyday problems is actually the oldest trick in the book: human touch. How do researchers know this? […]... Read more »

  • August 18, 2014
  • 05:14 PM
  • 805 views

The 10,000-Hour rule is nonsense

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Have you heard of Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule? The key to success in any field is practice, and not just a little. A new publication in the journal Psychological Science had a good look at all the evidence and concludes that this rule is nonsense. No Einstein in you, I am afraid. The authors of […]... Read more »

  • August 5, 2014
  • 05:29 AM
  • 661 views

Play music and you’ll see more

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

  Check out the video. It is a short demonstration of the so-called attentional blink. Whenever you try to spot the two letters in the rapid sequence you’ll miss the second one. This effect is so robust that generations of Psychology undergraduates learned about it. And then came music and changed everything. Test your own […]... Read more »

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