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iamfondofpigs t1_jdy1b1p wrote

Author Jordan Batchelor:

> Analysis of keywords identified several sources of negative attitudes, such as claims that scientists can be corruptible, poor communicators, and misleading. Research methodologies were negatively evaluated on the basis of small sample sizes. Other commenters negatively evaluated social science research, especially psychology, as being pseudoscientific, and several commenters described science journalism as untrustworthy or sensationalized.


> And the mods should've removed all of those. Press that Nuke button, mods.

I am not so certain.

  • "Corruptible": Conflict of interest is relevant and should be pointed out.
  • "Poor communicators": This accusation can be a jumping-off point for a commenter to clarify the authors' intent.
  • "Misleading": Always good to point out when an author makes a claim that is not supported by their own data.
  • "Small sample sizes": This is the one where I most agree with Batchelor. Commenters often slam down this criticism without thinking about its relevance. Still, scientists often make the opposite mistake of overvaluing statistical significance.
  • "Negatively evaluated social science": Many articles that get posted here under the social science tag are closer to political commentary than social science.
  • "Described science journalism as untrustworthy or sensationalized": This is straightforwardly true, though. The majority of the time I read science journalism, and then go on to read the actual research paper, the science journalism article makes stronger claims than the research paper itself.

No doubt, there are good and bad ways to comment on these problems. I'd like to see what words and phrases Batchelor actually looked for in the corpus, and I'd like some examples of what Batchelor considers to be unreasonable comments. I can't access the actual article, though. My normal search methods failed. And my, ahem, other methods failed as well.


boooooooooo_cowboys t1_jdycwfd wrote

>"Misleading": Always good to point out when an author makes a claim that is not supported by their own data.

Be honest…how often do you see redditors actually engaging with the original article and giving valid critiques of the authors interpretations vs spitting out their knee jerk reaction to the headline? I’ve seen an awful lot of “poor communication” and “misleading” complaints that could have been cleared up by actually reading the article.


Trill-I-Am t1_jdy1xv5 wrote

Accusations are net negative even if they instigate good discussion


iamfondofpigs t1_jdy6hem wrote

Not sure what you mean. If I am to take you literally, what I'm hearing is, "/r/science would be a better subreddit if all critical comments were deleted."

I don't believe this is what you meant, but perhaps you could clarify?

When I use the word "accusation," I mean, "A claim that someone has done something wrong." This could be an accusation of malicious fraud; it could also be an accusation that someone has mistakenly used an inappropriate statistical test.

Is there a particular class of accusations that you think are harmful? Perhaps your definition of "accusation" is different from mine?

Would be interested to hear.