Respected academics, practitioners, and a whole ecosystem of grifters have spent the last decade-plus popularizing behavioral science findings and insisting they become part of our personal cognitive toolkit and collective design/policy arsenal.
I am guilty of this too.
Much of the original research was deeply flawed in a variety of ways: small samples, p-hacking, publication bias, outright misconduct, and more. The public sphere has been polluted with bad science, and we will bear the cost of untruth until the commons is cleaned.
We must start now.
The research tide is turning. Young academics are working to replicate individual studies and overall concepts, but we need an effort to synthesize. Let us begin with a series of short essays, thoughtful and not aggressive, aiming to summarize the current best understanding of high-level behavioral science topics: priming, prospect theory, anchoring, status quo bias, and more.
Our goal is to have a reference to lnk to when we see these concepts popping up in the wild. We do not aim to convince academics, or have these stand up to every possible critique. We aim to be fair, but opinionated.
If there is still wheat in this chaff, let it be found.
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