David Bennett is a Guest at the Department of Biotechnology at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and a Visitor to the Senior Combination Room of St Edmund's College, Cambridge, UK. He has long-term experience, activities and interests in the relations between science, industry, government, education, law, the public and the media and works with the European Commission, government departments, companies, universities, public interest organisations and the media in these areas.
Richard Jennings is an Affiliated Research Scholar in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. His research interests are focused on the Responsible Conduct of Research and the ethical uses of science and technology. He is a member of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, has worked with the BCS Ethics Forum defining and refining the BCS Code of Conduct, and with four other members has developed a 'Framework For Assessing Ethical Issues in New Technologies'.
Psychological science has made extraordinary discoveries about the human mind, but can we trust everything its practitioners are telling us? In recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that a lot of research in psychology is based on weak evidence, questionable practices, and sometimes even fraud. The Seven Deadly Sins of Psychology diagnoses the ills besetting the discipline today and proposes sensible, practical solutions to ensure that it remains a legitimate and reliable science in the years ahead.
In this unflinchingly candid manifesto, Chris Chambers draws on his own experiences as a working scientist to reveal a dark side to psychology that few of us ever see. Using the seven deadly sins as a metaphor, he shows how practitioners are vulnerable to powerful biases that undercut the scientific method, how they routinely torture data until it produces outcomes that can be published in prestigious journals, and how studies are much less reliable than advertised. He reveals how a culture of secrecy denies the public and other researchers access to the results of psychology experiments, how fraudulent academics can operate with impunity, and how an obsession with bean counting creates perverse incentives for academics. Left unchecked, these problems threaten the very future of psychology as a science—but help is here.
Outlining a core set of best practices that can be applied across the sciences, Chambers demonstrates how all these sins can be corrected by embracing open science, an emerging philosophy that seeks to make research and its outcomes as transparent as possible.