Bite-Size Science May Present Some Threats

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Through the years, literature has been evolving. Studies have been trying to catch up with the fast-paced world, as news, politics, and culture are. Trying to match the society’s demand, have publication demands truly moved towards the downside? Presently, the article in January’s Perspectives on Psychological Science (journal published by the Association for Psychological Science) attempts to analyze a parallel drift in psychological research. Psychologists Macro Bertamini of the University of Liverpool and Marcus Munafo of the University of Bristol depicted the papers based on 1 or few researches and limited samples as “bite-size science”.

Bertamini stated that they are not in opposition to conciseness; however, real dangers in this drift to shorter papers are expected. He further added, “The main risk is the increased rates of false alarms that are likely to be associated with papers based on less data.”

Furthermore, the article ships a variety of claimed benefits of shorter papers. Some researchers articulate that such papers can be read simpler and easier. The authors say this may be true but having more articles imply more coping up needed, as well as more re-examining and revising. As acclaimed by the proponents, rising influence is obtained by authors because of more citations. However, the scientific value of a longer paper cannot be equivalent to the value of two short papers.

Moreover, the authors said that reason behind is “the less the experimental sample, the more the statistical deviations are”.  This can lead to increased likelihood of having inaccurate results/findings. The findings may be coincidental, having a bias directed to false positive results, in comparison with a broad range of study having more experiments and replications in other laboratory settings. Also, rigidly limiting words may suggest stripping the data regarding the previous study. The results obtained from the new study may then become startling. The authors expressed that a slight ignorance can aid in finding new things.

Furthermore, the authors said that these astonishing and fresh findings are the ones that editors consider stirring and remarkable. These are also what the publication companies desire to publish. The conventional media industry chooses the hot topics, wherein inaccurate findings may stem from.

Bertamini stated that by training, scientists are cynical. However, the drift flowing in the direction of bite-size science does not have a room for such critical watchfulness. This is what the authors deem as opposing to high-quality science.




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