Arabs or Jews, children who need pain relief in the ER get it

Children with broken bones or joint dislocations in northern Israel emergency departments received equal pain treatment, regardless of their ethnicity or the ethnicity of the nurses who treated them, even during a period of armed conflict between the two ethnic groups. An investigation of potential disparities in pediatric emergency department pain relief in northern Israel was published online today in Annals of Emergency Medicine. —> Read More

Fingerprinting erosion

Watershed health and water quality issues are a growing concern. Researchers examined the sediments traveling downstream toward Lake Winnipeg using a technique called color fingerprinting. The color of a particular sediment is key to identifying the specific origin of the erosion. —> Read More

Psychology Is Not in Crisis? Depends on What You Mean by “Crisis”

In the New York Times yesterday, psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett argues that “Psychology is Not in Crisis.” She is responding to the results of a large-scale initiative called the Reproducibility Project, published in Science magazine, which appeared to show that the findings from over 60 percent of a sample of 100 psychology studies did not hold up when independent labs attempted to replicate them.

She argues that “the failure to replicate is not a cause for alarm; in fact, it is a normal part of how science works.” To illustrate this point, she gives us the following scenario:

Suppose you have two well-designed, carefully run studies, A and B, that investigate the same phenomenon. They perform what appear to be identical experiments, and yet they reach opposite conclusions. Study A produces the predicted phenomenon, whereas Study B does not. We have a failure to replicate.

Does this mean that the phenomenon in question is necessarily illusory? Absolutely not. If the studies were well designed and executed, it is more likely that the phenomenon from Study A is true only under certain conditions. The scientist’s job now is to figure out what those conditions are, in order to form new and better hypotheses to test.

She’s making a pretty big assumption here, which is that the studies we’re interested in are “well-designed” and “carefully run.” But a major reason for the so-called “crisis” in psychology — and I’ll come back to the question of just what kind of crisis we’re really talking about (see my title) — is the fact that a very large number of not-well-designed, and not-carefully-run studies have been making it through peer review for decades.

Small sample sizes, sketchy statistical procedures, incomplete —> Read More

1 2 3 3,918