Philosophy 496, Psychology 475
Professor: Craig DeLancey

Current Assignments
October 27
Read the very influential "Automaticity of Social Behavior". Answer the questions on Angel.

We discussed parallels with pharma. Here is a Nature Podcast interview with Ben Goldacre who wrote Bad Pharma. (Goldacre describes some problems that do not have a parallel with social psych; e.g., he argues that there is a too-low hurdle set up against placebos. But he also discusses the publishing issues we discussed--he calls it the problem of "missing data"--if you want to hear that part first, skip ahead to the 12 minute mark.)
October 29
Read the paper by Doyen et al. Answer the questions on Angel.
October 31
Lindsay Webb will visit the class!
Tentative Assignments
November 12
Papers due for peer review. Many of you are revising papers that you have written before. If you are looking for a new topic, here are some suggestions.
  • Consider an emotion, like fear. What kind of theory of emotion does the behaviorist, the cognitivist, and the evolutionary psychologist offer? How should decide between them?
  • Do we still need introspection in psychology? Why or why not? And for what kinds of data do we need it? And how has use of introspection changed, if at all? Consider several examples.
  • Given one of the classic cognitivist papers, such as one describing the Stroop effect. Explain how that hypothesis requires that we emend behaviorism. Specifically, what elements of behaviorism are retained, and what altered, in contemporary experimental psychology (such as cognitive psychology)?
  • Explain and evaluate the concern raised about Kahane that we have a reproducibility crisis in social psychology.
  • Review a claim made in evolutionary psychology. What is being assumed (about inheritance, about the target of selection, etc.)? Does the argument plausibly show that the behavior is an evolutionary stable strategy? What are some concerns that we might have about this kind of explanation?
  • Is there a concensus about the method of psychology? Give examples. If not, then is this because psychology is new, or because the mind is special (that is, explaining the mind requires special methods because it is a different kind of thing)?