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    [–] Reporting in Experimental Philosophy: Current Standards and Recommendations for Future Practice (Open Access) byrd_nick 1 points ago in xPhilosophy


    Recent replication crises in psychology and other fields have led to intense reflection about the validity of common research practices. Much of this reflection has focussed on reporting standards, and how they may be related to the questionable research practices that could underlie a high proportion of irreproducible findings in the published record. As a developing field, it is particularly important for Experimental Philosophy to avoid some of the pitfalls that have beset other disciplines. To this end, here we provide a detailed, comprehensive assessment of current reporting practices in Experimental Philosophy. We focus on the quality of statistical reporting and the disclosure of information about study methodology. We assess all the articles using quantitative methods (n = 134) that were published over the years 2013–2016 in 29 leading philosophy journals. We find that null hypothesis significance testing is the prevalent statistical practice in Experimental Philosophy, although relying solely on this approach has been criticised in the psychological literature. To augment this approach, various additional measures have become commonplace in other fields, but we find that Experimental Philosophy has adopted these only partially: 53% of the papers report an effect size, 28% confidence intervals, 1% examined prospective statistical power and 5% report observed statistical power. Importantly, we find no direct relation between an article’s reporting quality and its impact (numbers of citations). We conclude with recommendations for authors, reviewers and editors in Experimental Philosophy, to facilitate making research statistically-transparent and reproducible.

    [–] All forms of higher education correlate with less conservative religious belief (e.g., that "the Bible is the Word of God") even though there is no reliable correlation between higher education and religious practice. byrd_nick 1 points ago * (lasted edited 14 days ago) in psychology

    [Prayer and participating in religious services] is such a small subset of practices... that it seems to[o] broad a claim to measure "religious... practice"

    Again. The authors did not claim that they measured practices that include or even represent all religious practices. If they had, then I would understand how someone could be reasonable in complaining about their measures. As it stands, I still do not understand how one could be so reasonable about that complaint.

    The pew research center states "some indicators of religious engagement have ticked upward, such as the percentage of religiously affiliated adults who share their faith regularly." This was not mentioned even though it is a recent academic result.

    Perhaps it was not mentioned because it is not relevant. Schleifer et al's was a study of correlations between education and religious variables, not time and religious variables. So the fact that a Pew study found that some religious variables changed over time is not relevant to this study of religious variables changing over levels of education unless the Pew study found that the degree to which religious variables changed over time varied by education—as the Kimball et al (2009) study (that the authors cited) found.

    It turns out that the Pew study you mentioned did find this kind of interaction, but in the opposite direction that you seem to want: "adults [affiliated with a religion] without a college degree are more likely than college graduates to [say they share their faith at least monthly]." Further, "college graduates are far more likely than those with less education to identify as atheists or agnostics" even though "there is virtually no difference in frequency of religious service attendance between college graduates and those with less education" (source). So the Pew findings are totally consistent with the post title describing Schleifer et al's findings.

    [–] All forms of higher education correlate with less conservative religious belief (e.g., that "the Bible is the Word of God") even though there is no reliable correlation between higher education and religious practice. byrd_nick 4 points ago in psychology

    Hi u/gordonjames62,

    I’m not sure I follow your reasoning. Maybe you can help me out.

    1. Prayer and participating in religious services are religious practices. Sure, there are other religious practices as well, but the authors make no claim that they’ve exhaustively asked about all religious practices. So I am not sure why the authors are guilty of “lame assumptions”. Maybe you can clarify with an explanation for that claim.

    2. You say, “Based on the questions they asked and the way they processed the results, they seem to be asking questions that don’t fit the conclusions they presented.” If that claim is right, then explaining it should be straightforward—e.g., “Asking about X and then analyzing Y suggests that X is related to Y in the following ways, but it does not suggest anything about Z.” So maybe you explain that claim too.

    [–] All forms of higher education correlate with less conservative religious belief (e.g., that "the Bible is the Word of God") even though there is no reliable correlation between higher education and religious practice. byrd_nick 3 points ago * (lasted edited 14 days ago) in psychology

    N.B. only some of the correlations are significant, of course, but they are reliably in one direction against religious belief, but not religious practice.


    This study addresses the question: Do individuals who have completed different college majors show different patterns of conservative religious belief and religious practice? Previous research on the relationship between college education and religion focused on institutional factors and precollege characteristics. Few studies, however, accounted for the role of college majors in shaping these processes. Research that looked at college majors emphasized changes during college and tended to use nonrepresentative samples. Using the General Social Survey, we test whether there are different patterns of religious belief and practice among those with different college degrees. We find that those with degrees in the natural sciences and the mathematical areas show the lowest rates of religious belief and practice, but these results are partially moderated by age. We discuss the implications that our findings have for future research on education and religion.

    [–] Philosophy professor awarded $217,400 grant to do graduate coursework and research in psychology and neuroscience. byrd_nick 1 points ago in philosophy


    Thanks to the support of the Templeton Foundation, John Schwenkler, an associate professor of philosophy at Florida State University, will spend three years taking graduate coursework and conducting laboratory research in psychology and neuroscience. Following completion of the program, he plans to incorporate what he learns about the human mind into his philosophical research and make direct contributions to these areas of cross-disciplinary study.

    [–] Is it realistic to aspire to be a perpetual postdoctoral researcher at various universities? byrd_nick 1 points ago in AcademicPhilosophy

    I was imagining a hiring committee that could hire only a postdoc (and not a tenure track position where sticking around is an option). In that situation, is the ability to stick around relevant? (Serious question.)

    [–] Is it realistic to aspire to be a perpetual postdoctoral researcher at various universities? byrd_nick 2 points ago in AcademicPhilosophy

    I don’t see why not. Why turn down people with more experience?

    However, some selection committees (sometimes explicitly) favor more recent grads (e.g., they only accept applications from people who received their PhD within the past 5 years). Those search committees would hurt the job prospects of the kind of applicant that you have in mind.

    [–] Prisoner's Dilemma choices depended on both situation and personality. byrd_nick 1 points ago in xPhilosophy


    Mixed‐motive games represent situations that confront people with a conflict between cooperative and non‐cooperative alternatives. Despite this common basis, recent research has shown that the consistency of people's choices across different mixed‐motive games is rather low. The present research examined behavioural consistency within the same mixed‐motive game, by presenting participants with a series of one‐shot Prisoner's Dilemma Games. Across this set of games, payoffs were manipulated in order to intensify or weaken the conflict between self and the other party while maintaining the game's underlying structure. Our findings indicate that significant differences in choice behaviour are observed as a function of both situational (i.e. manipulations of the Prisoner's Dilemma Game's payoff structure) and personality differences (i.e. individual differences in personality and motivational traits). Moreover, our included situational variables and personality features did not interact with each other and were about equally impactful in shaping cooperation. Crucially, however, despite the significant behavioural differences across game variants, considerable consistency in choices was found as well, which suggests that the game's motivational basis reliably impacts choice behaviour in spite of situational and personality variations. We discuss implications for theorizing on mixed‐motive situations and elaborate on the question how cooperation can be promoted.

    [–] Systematic advice for anyone thinking about gradschool byrd_nick 6 points ago in AcademicPhilosophy

    And if you have questions about any of the posts or about graduate school in general, I am happy to share my experience.

    Thanks for sharing u/phileconomicus!

    [–] Belief in substance dualism and reductive physicalism differentially predict belief in free will and determinism. byrd_nick 1 points ago in xPhilosophy


    In this article, we show that lay people's beliefs about how minds relate to bodies are more complex than past research suggests, and that treating them as a multidimensional construct helps explain inconclusive findings from the literature regarding their relation to beliefs about whether humans possess a free will. In two studies, we found that items previously used to assess a unidimensional belief in how minds relate to bodies indeed capture two distinguishable constructs (belief in substance dualism and reductive physicalism) that differently predict belief in free will and two types of determinism (Studies 1 and 2). Additionally, we found that two fundamental personality traits pertaining to people’s preference for experiential versus rational information processing predict those metaphysical beliefs that were theorized to be based on subjective phenomenological experience and rational deliberation, respectively (Study 2). In sum, beliefs about mind-body relations are a multidimensional construct with unique predictive abilities.

    [–] Higher purity norms and sexual disgust sensitivity is linked to condemning mind upload, but higher death anxiety, suicide condemnation, and science fiction literacy are linked to accepting mind upload. byrd_nick 1 points ago in xPhilosophy


    The idea of separating a person’s consciousness and transferring it to another medium—'mind upload'—is being actively discussed in science, philosophy, and science fiction. Mind upload technologies are currently also being developed by private companies in Silicon Valley, and similar technological developments have received significant funding in the EU. Mind upload has important existential and ethical implications, yet little is known about how ordinary people actually feel about it. The current paper aims to provide a thorough moral psychological evaluation about various cognitive factors that explain people’s feelings and reactions towards the use of mind upload technology. In four studies (including pilot) with a total of 952 participants, it was shown that biological and cultural cognitive factors help to determine how strongly people condemn mind upload. Both experimental manipulations in a laboratory and cross-sectional correlative online study designs were employed. The results showed that people who value purity norms and have higher sexual disgust sensitivity are more inclined to condemn mind upload. Furthermore, people who are anxious about death and condemn suicidal acts were more accepting of mind upload. Finally, higher science fiction literacy and/or hobbyism strongly predicted approval of mind upload. Several possible confounding factors were ruled out, including personality, values, individual tendencies towards rationality, and theory of mind capacities. Possible idiosyncrasies in the stimulus materials (whether consciousness is uploaded onto a computer, chimpanzee, artificial brain, or android; and whether the person’s body physically dies during the process) were ruled out. The core findings inform ongoing philosophical discussions on how mind upload could (or should) be used in the future, and imply that mind upload is a much more salient topic for the general population than previously thought.

    [–] The relationship between literature and philosophy byrd_nick 1 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago) in philosophy

    Perhaps literature can depend on philosophical import. But I doubt that it must do so.

    For example, The Matrix uses characters, relationships, places, and events to express some theses about knowledge, meaning, and value. But surely The Matrix could have been created in a way that ignores these theses by telling the same story without its characters taking the opportunity to address such philosophical import. For instance, instead of Morpheus and Neo having so many dialogues concerning what is real in the Matrix, Morpheus and Neo could have merely discussed what they like to do in The Matrix—maybe one likes to go for long walks outdoors and the other likes to stay up late playing video games. That seems to avoid anything of real philosophical significance.

    (Obviously, I’m not taking a position on whether literature should or should not be laden with philosophical import or theses.)

    [–] How to win arguments easily using Socratic method byrd_nick 1 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago) in philosophy

    This video seems to be more about the psychology of reasoning than about philosophy itself. I won’t be surprised if it is removed from r/philosophy. But it might be a good post for r/psychology or r/xPhilosophy.

    [–] How to win arguments easily using Socratic method byrd_nick 7 points ago in philosophy

    If winning is the goal, then we will err precisely the way that this video discourages (e.g., the backfire effect). In other words, there is something self-refuting about the the title of this post.

    [–] How to win arguments easily using Socratic method byrd_nick 36 points ago in philosophy

    Is the goal to win arguments? Or is there a superordinate goal to reflect on the arguments and evidence and then change one’s mind wherever rationality requires such a change—even if that constitutes losing an argument?

    [–] Some think the mind is an immaterial soul. Others think it is just the brain. But there are many, many more views than that. Here's a flowchart to keep track. byrd_nick 1 points ago in philosophy

    Haha. I’m probably not ready for that. But thanks for the heads up!

    And there are some views that I cannot make enough sense of to classify them. ;) E.g., I have not yet understood phenomenological views of mind (or if phenomenology has a view of mind (vs. a view of reality/truth)).

    [–] Some think the mind is an immaterial soul. Others think it is just the brain. But there are many, many more views than that. Here's a flowchart to keep track. byrd_nick 2 points ago in philosophy

    Right. I go back and forth between making physicalism/non-physicalism the first decision point vs. making monism/non-monism the first decision point.

    Ultimately I want to do what makes for the least amount of redundancy later in the chart (by ‘redundancy’, I mean having multiple boxes for a view because there are multiple construals of it (as with functionalism in the current chart).