I’m reading Robert Sapolsky’s new book, Determined. There’s one early part that’s already made very happy:
Many readers will know of the “replication crisis” in psychology, where an alarming percentage of published findings, even some in textbooks, turn out to be hard or impossible for other scientists to independently replicate (including some findings, I admit ruefully, that wound up being cited in my 2017 book, where I should have been more discerning). Thus, this section considers only findings whose broad conclusions have been independently replicated.
Sapolsky’s 2017 book, Behave, unfortunately cited many social psychology studies whose findings were victims of the replication crisis. Of course, not everything he cited was so flimsy; the research in biology and neuroscience has proven to be much more durable. But, he was seeking ambitious messages, that require soundness top to bottom to accept.1
I love Sapolsky. He’s heavily influenced the trajectory of my life and my beliefs. He’s clearly tilting the world in a more humane direction. But scientific arguments require good science. I’m hoping Determined does better than his last book.
Mon, Nov 6, 2023
ChatGPT’s summary is good: