Researchers question the foundational assumptions of neuropsychology

This article by Peter Simons has been published by Mad in the UK. It begins:

“Why does psychology struggle so much to achieve meaningful findings? In what has been termed the “replication crisis,” psychology’s much-hyped positive findings typically fail to replicate in later studies, leaving uncertainty about whether the discipline has truly discovered anything of use.

In a new article in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, a team of researchers led by Christiana Westlin at Northeastern University and Lisa Feldman Barrett at Northeastern University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School propose a solution. They question the existing assumptions of neuropsychology and provide new ways of understanding the complexity of the brain and mind that might help psychological science move forward from the replication crisis.

“A productive way forward may be to fundamentally rethink what a mind is and how a brain works,” they write.

Many of the most well-known findings in psychology have failed to replicate in later studies; others turned out to have been outright falsehoods. Researchers in a top journal, Nature, have written that almost all brain imaging findings are likely to be false. Some researchers argue that “psychology is incompatible with hypothesis-driven theoretical science” because psychology researchers tend to spin their results to support vague, unfalsifiable theories. Because of this, researchers in the American Psychologist have even written that “everyone knows psychology is not a real science.” …”

You can read more from here.

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