Dishonesty in science, (Dis)honesty the movie & more weekly links


A selection of recent behavioral science news, articles, and resources of note:

  • A Columbia professor asked Science to retract his study from publication after learning his collaborator, a graduate student at UCLA, likely falsified the data. The study garnered national media attention and even a segment on This American Life for its (almost) unbelievable findings: in just 20 minutes, well-trained canvassers were able to change people’s minds about gay marriage, refuting well-established research on the stubbornness of beliefs. Maria Konnikova explains the bizarre story. (The New Yorker)
  • Dan Ariely’s new documentary film The (Dis)honesty Project was released this week. You’ll find the trailer below, and for an oddly intimate confessional they’ve set up to go with the film check out the Truthbox. (The (Dis)honesty Project)

  • “How do you motivate kids to stop skipping school?” An incentive, such as a reward for good attendance, is often the first thing off the shelf. But when a group of behavioral scientists incentivized school children in India, their reward for positive attendance had the exact opposite effect of what they were hoping for. (NPR)
  • The nonprofit behavioral science innovation firm ideas42 released a new white paper detailing how individuals and organizations can leverage behavioral science to interrupt the cycle of poverty. (ideas42)
  • Is color in our brains or in the world? In her new book, Outside Color, Mazviita Chirimuuta takes up the question that continues to perplex both scientists and philosophers, and proposes her own new color scheme: color adverbialsim. (The New Republic)
  • Can disfluent fonts help people solve math problems? It seems not. A recent article published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General details the failed attempt to replicate the original 2007 study which showed making something hard to read led to better scores on counterintuitive math problems. (Journal of Experimental Psychology: General)

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