Psychology as a science, part deux

*big sigh*

Apparently two thirds of final year psychology undergraduates in the US do not believe psychology is a science.

Why are you studying it then?

I guess this is partly the instructors’ fault. I think we can get too focused on teaching “to the syllabus” and giving details about theories and experiments without the general training in the scientific method. I suppose if you were to ask one of these students “what is a theory?”, “what is the scientific method?” or “is Occum’s razor a new shaving product?” you would get blank faces.

Back in my day, this info was implicitly trained into us by stealth methods. Over the years, we just acquired the knowledge by the way the course was taught. These days I find myself having to explicitly explain these things to students as I have my doubts as to whether they are going to pick up a Philosophy of Science book. Mind you, in my day, we have the “general science” paper which asked really general and broad questions about psychology which touched on many of these things. It was my favourite part of the course, but due to a coup d’etat it was ejected from the syllabus the following year.

At the very least, our graduates should be leaving with this most basic of knowledge. Martin Conway has shown that research methods training tends to be remembered really well even years later. This basic training in science should function similarly.

But, if we can’t expect our own graduates to defend psychology, why should we expect the rest of the public to get on board?


A CV to aspire to….

Curriculum Vitae

Flippin Nora



Economic & Social Rejects Council (2014-2018): Are academics meglomaniacs? The nature vs nurture debate. £10,000,000.00

Marie Curry Fellowship (2013-2016): Marie Curry: A spice in context. £150,000.00

Biological Bull Shit Research Council (2012-2015): Neurocorrelates of academic disagreements: Naturally argumentative or environmental contrariness?



Flippin, N. (in press). How to win arguments with your head of department: The role of incriminating photographs. Nurture.

Flippin, N. (2014). Reducing your workload through devious means. Scientology.

Flippin, N. (2013). The biological basis of crap RAE rankings. Nurture Neuroshite.

Flippin, N. (2012). The association between Facebook and grade inflation: A case of adult ADHD? Psychological Shite.

Flippin, N. (2012). Leather sofas: Essential office furniture? In C. Rapp & W.W. Wibble (Eds), What are indirect costs on Research Council grants? University of the Highlands & Islands University Press.

Flippin, N. & Ra’ndy-Bugger (2012): Sleeping with your supervisor: Recourse or intercourse?

Flippin, N. (2011). A-Z of installing Sky Movies in your office and getting your department to fund it. Business, Industry & Skills Technical Manual.

Flippin, N. (2010). The downward spiral: Are all academics alcoholic narcissists? PhD thesis.

Metro, all is forgiven

Dear Metro

I forgive you for endlessly shoving Jessica Ennis in my face day on day.

What is behind this change of heart?

Firstly, I am just contrary….

But, secondly, there was a wonderful interview with Her Majesty of Piano Tori Amos today.

Very unexpected.

Ms Amos is behind some of my best memories of my younger days. ‘Pink’ saw me through my teenage years, ‘Earthquakes’ through my undergrad years, and ‘Scarlet’s Walk’ through my year of writing my thesis. The latter is one of my all time favourite albums.

Now, Metro, how about an interview with PJ Harvey or Fiona Apple? ‘Sea/city’ and ‘Desire’ are just wonderful from start to end, and the first two Apple albums were the music of my PhD days. It truly was a wonderful time for women artists.

Are there any artists or albums that are like a soundtrack to your life?

Be nice to your parents!

Why is it that some grown children continue to act like they are still 12 years old with their parents?

Ask yourself: when do I get in contact with my parents? Is it to ask how they are, can I help with anything, how are things going, what have you been doing with yourself, how are you feeling? Or, instead, to spend the entire conversation talking about yourself, your woes, how you are unhappy, how things aren’t working out, and, oh, can I borrow some money/car/power tools?

Parents actually like it if they can talk about what they’ve been up to to. This is apparently a complete revelation to some grown children.

Once you’re leading your own independent life, it is time for the parent-child relationship to change, to mature. You are on more equal footing now. Your parents can’t tell you what to do or how to live your life. But with that bonus, means that you need to be invested in their life. Another way of looking at it is like this: they’ve done their job. It is not their job for the next 40 years to be your personal therapist. And, how do you think they feel hearing ad nauseum how unhappy, how unsatisfied you are. They must feel really great about themselves!

Relationships between grown children and their parents is a dynamic thing, it is always in flux. Especially when they are starting to get older you need to make sure that you are asking them all the questions I’ve outlined above, and that way you can keep on the look out for subtle changes that may indicate a problem.

So, it’s a two way street. Contact with your parents is not just about you and what you need. But, basically, it is just about being a NICE person.

So, next time you phone your ma, ask her how she is!

Sorry to interupt your story about being hit by a bus. I’ve got to update my status on Facebook

This little anecdote will be familiar to pretty much everyone these days, but how does it make you feel?

About 15 years ago a good friend got a mobile phone. None of us had them, but her mates back home had them, and they use to text each other. Constantly. This friend also felt the need to text while in conversation with the group of people around her. We told her it was rude, but she didn’t care. So, we use to switch her phone off when she was out the room.

Of course, pretty much everyone does this these days. Visiting your dying granny. “Oh excuse me gran, really important text to send, don’t die while I’m doing it”.

When you’re in a social situation is there ever any need to check your phone unless there is some dire emergency going on?

Personally, when I see family and friends checking their twitter account or facebook page while visiting I can really pissed off, and usually tell them what rude pricks they’re being. But they REALLY don’t understand what the problem is.

It’s rude! It is the equivalent of eating with your gob open.

Likewise, if you are at a meeting, even if it is reaaaally boring, don’t keep checking your phone. It is extremely rude to the person who is speaking or leading the meeting. You don’t see your boss doing it (and if they do, time for a coup d’etat).

Seriously, you are not that important. It can wait. And surely knowing whether you’ve been given a superpoke or a like or a retweet can wait until after you’ve visited your elderly mother. Informing her of any of those three things is likely to make her think you’ve got syphilis…..

Kids are crap. Older people are great version 2

Apparently, old people are a pain in the ass. They block beds in hospital and money is having to be diverted from REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF FOR KIDS to pay for it.

Boo hoo. My hearts bleed for all those unfortunate and deprived kiddies whose parents are having to pay someone else minimum wage to raise them, having to make the decision as to whether to by the Nike or Puma trainers, caving in and buying the newest most infashion toy that they really don’t need, and only being able to afford two foreign holidays a year.

My heart really does bleed. Let’s just kill everyone over 60 and that should sort this problem out.

But, I see a snag. If all the oldies are knocked off, who will provide free 24/7 childcare for these most unfortunate kids?

Older people have paid their taxes (unlike kids), contributed in innumerable ways to society, and are pretty much raising their grand kids with no payment for their time.

And this is the thanks we give them? Calling them bed blockers? The four horseman of the NHS apocalypse?

And these kids are not having a hard time. They have more MORE MORE than any generation before them. Seriously, you don’t need the new Mutant Turtle blaster van, or the new pair of trainers, or the foreign holidays. I’m sure if the post war kids could survive then so can you. We are after all, hearing about how resourceful and resilient children are these days.

Now, there are children living in poverty. You’re probably really aware of this because the media seems determined that this is ingrained in our psyche’s so much we’ll all put it on our tombs.

But, older people are living in poverty too. If you think living on child benefits is hard, try the state pension.

There is an unwritten rule about society in that you can tell a lot about it by how it treats the most vulnerable. The current Tory government definitely get an F on this. But, please remember, older people, and even not so old, can be just as vulnerable as a kid. While kids can have their parents act as their champions, older adults usually have to do it themselves.

The media seem to think that everyone loves kids and see how fabulous they are. All I see is the next generation of serial killers, especially given the way they are currently being raised. Kids suck! Older people are ace. They’ll actually hold a conversation with you without feeling the need to tweet, update their facebook page at the same time and watch youtube. Basically, they have manner and social etiquette, something which is severely lacking in today’s kids

Dear Online Open Access Editor

Rock Doc's Blog

Do not send me threatening emails. It’s not going to end well.

When I agree to a review a manuscript and am told I have 6 weeks to submit the review, then I expect to get the 6 weeks to do it.

Do not send me an email after 3.5 weeks telling me that my services are no longer needed and threatening to spread my name as a “lazy reviewer who does not complete their reviews on time”.

You know what happens in the real world? I stop reviewing for your journal that has no impact factor. I tell everyone I know to stop reviewing for your no-name journal that nobody takes seriously anyway – I mean have you actually seen the quality of the manuscripts you send out for review? People submit their work to your journal because it’s of such poor quality that they simply can’t get it accepted into…

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