81 episodes

Three psychologists talk about doing science. With Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire.

The Black Goat Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire

    • Social Sciences
    • 4.7, 88 Ratings

Three psychologists talk about doing science. With Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire.

    Objective Unknown

    Objective Unknown

    How does psychology's response to the replication crisis fit into a broader history of science? In this episode we discuss a paper by sociologists Jeremy Freese and David Peterson that takes on that question. Are "epistemic activists" in psychology redefining what it means to be objective in science? Does a focus on reforming incentives mean we view scientists as economic actors for whom motives and dispositions are irrelevant? Does the last decade's growth in meta-research mean that meta-analysis is the new arbiter of objectivity? Does a shift to a systems perspective on science have parallels in other systemic analyses of institutions? Plus: We answer a letter about whether raising new concerns when you're reviewing a revision is obligatory, a jerk move, or both.
     
    Links:
    Freese & Peterson (2018). The Emergence of Statistical Objectivity: Changing Ideas of Epistemic Vice and Virtue in Science. DOI, full text
    Twitter discussion about positionality statements in quant papers
    White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo
    Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry, by Helen Longino.
    The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.
     
    Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.
     
    This is episode 81. It was recorded on July 22, 2020.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    The Impending Fall of Academia

    The Impending Fall of Academia

    The upcoming academic term will be unusual, to say the least. The global pandemic led to emergency shutdowns in March, and it is likely that many colleges and universities will continue teaching partially or wholly online. And protests against anti-Black racism in the United States and elsewhere have led to institutional statements about taking an antiracist stand - which may or may not translate into real change. In this episode, we discuss some of the changes and how we are thinking about them in our work. How did we adapt our teaching for remote learning, and what do we think fall will look like? What changes can we make to our teaching and service to be more antiracist? How can we stay focused and motivated when we're acting as individuals against systemic problems? Plus, we answer a letter about working in the lab of your more senior and prominent partner. Simine chides her co-hosts over ignoring Southern Hemisphere seasons (and the one who writes episode titles promises to try harder, right after he gets this one pun out of his system). And Sanjay talks about coping with grief under social distancing.
    The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.
    Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.
    This is episode 80. It was recorded on July 8, 2020.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Inexact Science

    Inexact Science

    Scientific knowledge is always contingent and uncertain, even when it's the best we have. Should that factor into how we communicate science to the public, and if so, how? We discuss a recent article about the effects of communicating uncertainty on people's trust in scientific findings and scientists. When should and shouldn't scientists communicate uncertainty, and how should they do it? How should scientists prioritize keeping people's trust versus being up front about what they don't know? What are the different sources of uncertainty in scientific knowledge, and how should scientists deal with all of them? Plus, we get a followup letter from someone who asked about career support for a nonacademic partner - and they share what they learned and how things worked out.
    Link:
    The effects of communicating uncertainty on public trust in facts and numbers, by Anne Marthe van der Bles et al.
    The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.
    Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.
    This is episode 79. It was recorded on April 27, 2020.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    COVID Operations

    COVID Operations

    The COVID-19 pandemic is creating major and serious disruptions to just about everything, and higher education is no exception. In this episode we talk about how our work has been affected by measures to slow down the coronavirus. How have we adjusted to remote teaching? What effects have the social distancing measures had on our research? How are we mentoring students in light of such an uncertain future? What bigger changes and disruptions could be in store for academia? Plus: We answer a letter about when and how students should draw on their expertise when their advisor is in a different discipline.
    The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.
    Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.
    This is episode 78. It was recorded on April 7, 2020.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Joe Public, Will You Marry Me?

    Joe Public, Will You Marry Me?

    In recent years there has been a lot of talk about public trust in science - how much there is, in what ways, whether we deserve it or not. In this episode, we discuss an article by historian and philosopher Rachel Ankeny that asks whether "trust" is even the right concept to be talking about. What does it mean to trust an abstraction like "science"? When people argue about trust in science, are they even talking about the same thing - the findings, the people, the process, or something else? And we discuss Ankeny's proposed alternative: that instead of the public's trust, scientists should be seeking out engagement. What would an engagement model looks like? How would engagement benefit the public? How would it benefit science? And what about people who just wouldn't want to engage? Plus: We answer a letter from someone who likes, but doesn't love, teaching, and wants to know if that's good enough for academia.
    Links:
    How The Pandemic Will End, by Ed Yong in The Atlantic
    A comment on Everett et al. (2020): No evidence for the effectiveness of moral messages on public health behavioural intentions during the COVID-19 pandemic, by Farid Anvari. (Note: After we recorded the episode, the authors of the original paper updated it and then invited Farid to join them as a co-author. A great outcome!)
    The Taboo Against Explicit Causal Inference in Nonexperimental Psychology, by Michael Grosz, Julia Rohrer, and Felix Thoemmes
    Science in an age of scepticism, by Rachel Ankeny in Griffith Review
    The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.
    Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.
    This is episode 77. It was recorded on March 26, 2020.

    • 1 hr
    Just Be Cause

    Just Be Cause

    Many important questions about cause and effect are impractical to answer with a randomized experiment. What should we do instead? In this episode we talk about doing causal inference with observational data. Has psychology's historical obsession with internal validity led it, ironically, to think about causal inference in an unsophisticated way? Can formal analytic tools like directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) tell us how to do better studies? Or is their main lesson don't bother trying? How do norms and incentives in publishing help or hurt in doing better causal inference? Plus: We answer a letter about applying to psychology grad school when your background is in data science.
    Links:
    Thinking Clearly About Correlations and Causation: Graphical Causal Models for Observational Data, by Julia M. Rohrer
    That one weird third variable problem nobody ever mentions: Conditioning on a collider, by Julia Rohrer
    The selection-distortion effect: How selection changes correlations in surprising ways, by Sanjay Srivastava
    The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.
    Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.
    This is episode 76. It was recorded on March 16, 2020.

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
88 Ratings

88 Ratings

Spifftiff333 ,

Must Hear Podcast for Psych Scientists

This podcast has been a boon of useful information for this early career psychologist. I’m a clinical psych scientist, and even though the hosts are mostly in the social and personality realms, I find plenty of it is relevant to my area. I appreciate their humble and well-informed takes on open science, and they have certainly influenced me to take a more active role in using open science in my clinical studies. The information on job interviews was especially appreciated and I look forward to assigning the podcast to the grad students I mentor in the coming years. Thanks, y’all!

Min.ZZZ ,

Loving it in grad school

This podcast started when I was in my late stage of grad school. It is interesting, so friendly, and fun & informative!

I love how the hosts advocate for open science / fairness / rigor, but also don’t take the moral high ground about it and encourage people to do the right thing within their abilities. I also love when Simine challenges Alexia and Sanjay sometimes to take a more critical stance. These discussions help me make sense of the open science and replicability movement and my role in it.

Also really appreciated the episodes about friendship, me-research, year in review, etc. many times I need a reminder that being a human being comes before being an academic.

Loved episodes on creativity, measuring behavior, etc! Like a lab chat but so stimulating!

SodaPopWalters ,

Informative and Fun listening

As a psychology undergrad approaching graduate school applications and decisions about my future in the field, I've found the information in this podcast helpful. I've gained some great insight into what it's like to work in academia and what I might expect to experience as a grad student. The tone of this podcast is also fun and doesn't take itself too seriously which makes it all the more enjoyable.

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