4 Things I’ll Miss About Academia—And 4 Things I Won’t

4 Things I’ll Miss About Academia—And 4 Things I Won’t

I made a major career move this summer. After working ten years as a college professor, I decided it was time for something new: I left academia to become a full-time author. My reasons for this were both personal and professional. 

It was a tough decision to leave the academy because there are a lot of things I love about it. So here are four things I’ll miss about being a college professor—and four things I won’t miss at all.

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A Scientist’s Response To “We Needed Research To Tell Us This?”

A Scientist’s Response To “We Needed Research To Tell Us This?”

As someone who spends a fair amount of time engaging the public with the latest scientific research on sexuality and relationships, it is not uncommon for me to receive comments or tweets that say something to the extent of: “We needed research to tell us this?” The implication is that there really wasn’t a need for a given study to be conducted because we could have used “common sense” instead to figure out the results.

I’ve received enough of the “that’s just common sense” rebuttals that I thought it made sense to write an article tackling them head-on with the goal of explaining why I think it’s problematic to dismiss research in this way. So, here goes.

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A Guide To Becoming Literate In The Science Of Sex

A Guide To Becoming Literate In The Science Of Sex

Although sex is a topic about which many of us are inherently curious, there are surprisingly few reliable sources out there for learning about it, especially sources that are grounded in scientific research instead of arbitrary notions of sexual morality. That is precisely the reason I started this blog in the first place. However, in order to get the most out of the sex research I share on this site (not to mention the research you might come across elsewhere in the media), it is vital that you first become literate in the science of sex. That is, it is important to understand and appreciate what sex research can and cannot tell us. To that end, below are six things you should keep in mind any time you sit down to read the latest write-up of sex research.

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Become An Amateur Sex Scientist With The Kinsey Reporter App

Kinsey Reporter is a new smartphone app that lets people around the world anonymously record the details of their sex lives any time, any place. This app is available for free on both Apple and Android mobile platforms and is overseen by a joint partnership between The Kinsey Institute and the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing.
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Contribute To The Science Of Sex By Participating In A Sex Study

If you’re anything like me, you probably think there’s nothing more fun or interesting than learning about the latest sex research. But have you ever wanted to go beyond just reading about it and actually contribute to sexual science by participating in a sex study or two (or three or four)? If so, today is your lucky day. Below are links to a series of sexuality studies that are either run by me or some of my esteemed research collaborators. Each study addresses a distinct aspect of sex and you are eligible to participate in as many or as few of the studies as you would like, depending upon whether you meet the selection criteria. Any help you can provide by participating or spreading the word is greatly appreciated and will help to advance our understanding of human sexuality.

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How Should We Deal With Scientific Fraud in Psychology?

How Should We Deal With Scientific Fraud in Psychology?
It was recently reported that a Dutch social psychologist, Diederik Stapel, published at least 30 papers in reputable scientific journals based on data he had completely faked. The full scope of Stapel’s academic misconduct is still being investigated and could possibly extend much further than this. How such widespread fraud went undetected for so many years has vexed the entire scientific community. As if that weren't enough cause for concern, a journal article just came out showing how easy it is for psychologists to manipulate real data in order to show almost any result they want [1]. Consequently, many people are rightly questioning what we can do to get a better handle on unethical research practices. In this article, I offer my own take on what we should do about this issue.
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A Concise Guide to Reviewing Journal Articles in Psychology

Any reputable scientific journal utilizes a peer-review process, in which each manuscript received is sent to a small group of experts to evaluate the work and determine whether it merits publication. This process is vital to maintaining the highest possible scientific standards, because (ideally) it serves to identify and weed out flawed research, correct errors and inaccuracies, and ensure clarity. Although this process is certainly far from perfect and every scientist who has gone through it has their gripes, it’s the best system we have for ensuring that only good quality research makes it into our journals.

Unfortunately, very few scientists receive formal training in how to conduct a proper article review. As a result, many reviewers end up focusing on the wrong things, which yields comments that are unhelpful and not constructive in the eyes of editors and authors. Moreover, it is common for reviewers to write much more than is necessary, which wastes time for everyone involved in the process. Because I have seen these and other problems arise again and again in my publishing experience, I have decided to share my philosophy on how to write a helpful and constructive article review with the hope that others will find it useful as a teaching and learning tool. While the steps below apply primarily to reviews of journal articles in the field of psychology, many of these points would likely be applicable in other disciplines.

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How I Got Banned From Psychology Today’s Facebook Page: An Important Reminder of Why We Must Demand Higher Standards of Science Reporting in the Media

How I Got Banned From Psychology Today’s Facebook Page: An Important Reminder of Why We Must Demand Higher Standards of Science Reporting in the Media
A Psychology Today blogger recently published a post entitled Gender Differences in Personality are Larger than Previously Thought. The post began by stating “a new study confirms that men's minds come from Mars and women's from Venus” [emphasis added]. It then went on to discuss the “huge differences” that exist between the sexes and how “men and women belong to two different species.” Psychology Today was not alone in publishing such provocative claims—many other media outlets reported the same thing. But are these assertions warranted? That’s debatable. The research that formed the basis for the Psychology Today post [1] has been questioned by many in the psychological community, who have voiced concerns about the methods used to reach these conclusions. Furthermore, this particular study does not mesh with most published research in this area, which indicates that men and women are far more similar than they are different when it comes to personality.
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