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« Guest Post by Alexa Tullett | Main | the simpleminded & the muddleheaded »

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Alexa Lord

Just stumbled upon your blog! and I've really enjoyed reading it. Still learning from you even though you're 2,000 miles away :)

Alex Garinther

Agreed –- self-correction hurts. Some amount of friction is unavoidable, that’s for sure. The way I see it, scientists are people, and people are susceptible to all sorts of irrational, emotionally-driven reactions.

I suppose in an ideal world, we could all detach from our own work and consider it no more special or correct than anyone else’s. But this has proven such a difficult thing to do, and I think one reason why is because we’re taught from early on (or at least I was) that good scientists defend their positions and are rarely self-critical in public. To that I say: wouldn’t it be great if we could lionize those who not only admit fallibility, but actively seek out self-correction? This is something I would love to see more of in psychology.

Like you said in an earlier post, Simine ... “we revere the people who defend their positions most fervently, rather than the ones who invite criticism and are willing to change their mind”.

I think this is an incredibly important norm to recognize, and one that should be changed if we want to transcend fruitless bickering in science.

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