The New Yorker has such an interesting article it’s already generating discussion here, so it deserves a thread of it’s own. It describes a true modern paradox, namely that so many good studies can show interesting “significant” results, yet very few of these turn out to be genuine repeatable findings, and frustrated researchers struggle to get similar results, and it’s almost as if, the harder they try, the worse it gets. Many researchers across disparate fields are noticing an odd trend that the effect they thought was so solid, appears to mysteriously “wear off” as the years and the repeat trials go on.
It’s a sober warning to all of us to search hard for the truth hidden behind variables we are not even able to name yet, let alone measure, and to be ever vigilant about variables we can name, like “publishing bias” and “selective reporting”.
Annals of Science The Truth Wears Off Is there something wrong with the scientific method? by Jonah Lehrer December 13, 2010
These are quick quotes from a 5 page article. It’s well written, and worth reading in full.
But now all sorts of well-established, multiply confirmed findings have started to look [...]