• Philosophy and meta-theory

    Psychology is still WEIRD

    Psychological science is fraught with problems. One of these problems that has recently attracted widespread attention is the proliferation of false positives, which is rooted in a combination of QRPs (questionable research practices), including “p-hacking” (choosing analytical options on the basis of whether they render significant results) and “HARKing” (hypothesizing after the results are known), and very low statistical power (i.e., too few participants). Overall, psychology has responded vigorously to this problem, although much remains to be done. Numerous reforms have been put in place to encourage open science practices and quality in research. Another problem that has become widely recognized recently is that psychological research often makes inferences about…

  • New research

    The evolutionary foundations of worldviews

    When taking a graduate course on evolutionary psychology a few years ago, I thought a bit about the potential evolutionary bases of worldviews. I was specifically interested in the opposition between humanistic and normativistic perspectives posited by Silvan Tomkins Polarity Theory (more information here) that is encapsulated in the following quotation: “Is man the measure, an end in himself, an active, creative, thinking, desiring, loving force in nature? Or must man realize himself, attain his full stature only through struggle toward, participation in, conformity to a norm, a measure, an ideal essence basically prior to and independent of man?” (Tomkins, 1963). Evolutionary bases of of normativism and humanism Drawing on…

  • Philosophy and meta-theory

    The “happiness pie”, genetic and environmental determinism, and free will

    Nick Brown and Julia Rohrer recently posted a new preprint titled Re-slicing the ”Happiness Pie: A Re-examination of the Determinants of Well-being that comments on an influential paper by Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, and Schkade (2005) on the determinants of well-being. Nick Brown is the amateur who debunked the mathematics of happiness (together with the legendary Alain Sokal of the “Sokal hoax”). He has made a name for himself exposing shoddy work in positive psychology. This is another addition to this genre. What is particularly mind-blowing with this one is not just the sheer lack of intellectual sophistication of the criticized paper, but the fact that it has produced a whopping 3000…

  • My new work

    Our book is finally out

    The book on philosophy of science and methodology for psychology that I have been working on together with Lars-Gunnar Lundh is finally out. Unfortunately, it is only published in Swedish so far, but I hope that we will soon be able to publish at least parts of it in English as well. If you happen to speak Swedish, you can access it from the publisher Studentlitteratur. The reason that we wrote this book is that we felt that there was no other book that connects philosophy of science with psychological science in a sufficiently systematic and non-polemical way (the best books in this genre tend to focus on the natural…