Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Social Reality Data Driving Me Nuts

I have a paper that I like. It's a nice paper. But it's not quite weighty enough for a top journal. So I decided to conduct a second study. Two studies would be weighty enough, I thought.

There should have been a bonus, too. The second study should have answered a nagging question that I had.

It didn't. Instead of clarifying one thing, it obfuscated another.

The study involves social reality estimates. That's not my main area. But I had an idea during a cognitive neuroscience class at Cornell in 2001. I had an idea about how the brain stored information about television -- and how we use that information in making decisions about the social world.

I think I'm right, too. The first study made it seem as if I were right. The second study was supposed to replicate another study and add an elegant new twist.

The elegant new twist is there. But the replication did not happen. And it should have. Damnit!

Why did data (about how scary the world is) from 7 years ago fail to replicate?

1) Young people watch different TV today. Reality TV scarcely existed in 1999.
2) We are at war.
3) September 11th.
4) Original data were collected in a blue state. I am smack dab in the middle of a red one.

This was supposed to be the end of my "social reality" career. Now I either throw away the paper or start testing the possibilities above.

Double ugh.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you are not talking about the hopfield model... Z

8:45 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

No. I love the Hopfield model. I need to stop collecting data and edit that great paper you wrote.

9:44 PM  

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