Pitfalls in Human Research. Ten Pivotal Points by Theodore Xenophon Barber

By Theodore Xenophon Barber

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Barber, 1968). However, the two experimenters also differed with respect to age, height, weight, tone of voice, personality, etc. To determine whether the sex of the experimenter affects the results, it is necessary to utilize more than one female and more than one male experimenter. Stated more generally, when testing for an Experimenter Personal Attributes Effect, it is necessary to use a representative sample of experimenters. FAILURE TO ASSESS INTERACTIVE EFFECTS There is reason to believe that a personal attribute of the experimenter may interact with an attribute of the subject to affect 50 Pitfalls in Human Research the results.

If investigators asked meaningful questions, the answers to the questions would themselves be meaningful regardless of whether the answer is Yes (positive results) or No (negative results). However, the notion that negative results Eire difficult to publish has a basis of truth. Not all negative results but certain types of negative results are difficult to publish. The type of negative results that are difficult to publish are specified as follows by the Publication Manual of the APA (Anonymous, 1974): "Failure to replicate results of a previous investigator, using the same method but a different sample, is generally of questionable value.

Although scientists are aware that "small-scale" fudging occurs among their own colleagues, there are two reasons why they view this kind of fudging as more serious in parapsychology: (a) they believe ESP is inherently improbable or highly unlikely whereas they believe their own field is well-established, (b) They believe that, in their own field, replication of studies by independent laboratories determines the validity of original findings whereas, in the area of parapsychology, cross-validation by independent laboratories is very rare.

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