Is a Train-Wreck Looming for Social Psychology?

Is a Train-Wreck Looming for Social Psychology?

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Daniel Kahneman sent an e-mail last week to a dozen social psychologists, spelling out what he sees as a way to restore the credibility of priming research. The research, which has found that small cues can cause strong subconscious effects, have come under fire after attempts to replicate some high-profile studies failed. It hasn’t helped that some prominent social psychologists have committed flat-out fraud.

Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winner and author of Thinking Fast and Slow, a section of which is titled “the marvels of priming,” is worried that all of those problems will undermine a field he believes in and will make it difficult for young researchers who study priming to find jobs. “My reason for writing this letter is that I see a train-wreck looming,” he wrote in the e-mail.

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