Date: Thursday 21st April
Room: Committee Room 2
Prof. Andy Field (Sussex University)
"Why I don't believe anything in Psychology"
Abstract: A century ago, unknown to humankind, the Daemons came to Earth and bestowed upon us the power to investigate ourselves. It was called NHST.
They told us it stood for Null Hypothesis Significance Testing. Having given us this power, they have watched us use it to discover things about the human mind. Now they have returned to use this knowledge to destroy us. Our only hope is if I can convince them that all psychological knowledge to date is in fact likely to be wrong. This talk describes my attempt to do this by looking at flaws in NHST, gaps in researchers knowledge about NHST, the way that psychologists probably mis-apply statistical methods, how psychology research follows a pattern likely to make it untrue, and how the incentive structures in academia promote unhelpful attitudes to knowledge. I don’t plan to offer any solutions, just a litany of misery. We’ll need a stiff drink afterwards.
Biography: Andy Field is Professor of Child Psychopathology at the University of Sussex, UK. He researches the emotional development in children and dabbles in statistics when the mood takes him. He has published 86 research papers, 29 book chapters and 17 books mostly on the development of fear and anxiety in children or statistics. He authored the bestselling textbook ‘Discovering Statistics using SPSS: and sex and drugs and rock n’ roll’, for which he won the British Psychological Society book award in 2007 and is now in its fourth edition and has been cited over 26,000 times in scientific papers. He has subsequently written versions of the book for SAS and R. His new book ‘Discovering Statistics: The Reality Enigma’ is due out in May 2016 and promises to be ‘different’. You can decide for yourself at the time whether that’s a good thing. His uncontrollable enthusiasm for teaching statistics to psychologists has led to teaching awards from the University of Sussex (2001 and 2015), the British Psychological Society (2006) and a prestigious National Teaching fellowship (2000). He is currently co-editor-in-chief for the Journal of Experimental Psychopathology and Psychopathology Review, serves on the editorial boards of Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review and Research Synthesis Methods. He’s done other academic things too but he finds it tedious trying to remember what they might have been. None of them really matter because in the unlikely event that you’ve ever heard of him it’ll be as the ‘Stats book guy’. In his spare time, he plays the drums very noisily in a heavy metal band, which he finds therapeutic.
Dr. Chris Askew (Kingston University)
"Learning fear from observing others"
Abstract: Self-report studies and experiments with animals and adults suggest that fear of a stimulus can be learned vicariously by observing someone else with that fear. However, until relatively recently there was little experimental evidence that this process occurs in people at an age when fears and phobias are known to develop. This talk will outline an experimental paradigm demonstrating that fears can be vicariously learned during childhood and that, like Pavlovian conditioning, this type of learning is underpinned by associative learning processes. I will also discuss how the procedure has been used to investigate fear prevention and reversal interventions/mechanisms.
Biography: Chris Askew is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Kingston University. His research area is child psychopathology and most of his work focuses on investigating the development of dysfunctional fear, anxiety and disgust during childhood. Chris’s recent research projects have included testing interventions that can be used to prevent negative dysfunctional emotions from developing during vicarious learning.