The Replication Crisis in Sociology

There isn’t one, as far as I can see, because sociologists, on the whole, don’t give a shit about being wrong. They like it.

Social psychologists inhabit the uncanny valley – highly susceptible to going astray, but embarrassed when it comes out.

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46 Responses to The Replication Crisis in Sociology

  1. MawBTS says:

    Probably safe to say that the average sociology paper has no purpose except to get the author through school. Nobody looks at them, nobody reads them. 7.2% of humanities papers account for 80% of citations received.

  2. Fabrizio says:

    Also, I doubt that there are many quantitative or experimental sociology publications even when compared to other social science fields (e.g. political science, economics and anthropology).

  3. coinherence says:

    You do mean “unembarrassed”, don’t you?

  4. teageegeepea says:

    Brian Wansink is surprisingly unembarrassed when people repeatedly point out problems with his work:

  5. dearieme says:

    Does Sociology really count as “humanities”? Does Social Psychology?

    I confess that I’ve never really been clear on the distinction between The Arts and The Humanities.

  6. Depends what you mean by “social psychology”. Sociobiologists are doing fine, thanks for asking

    • gcochran9 says:

      You’re asking for it. Sociobiologists (or should I say evolutionary psychologists ?) start out with a sound premise: human psychology has been shaped by evolution. But many of them then go wonky. Some go on and on about sperm competition in humans – which is insignificant, at least in every population studied so far. Almost all of them sedulously ignore population differences is psychology and cognition, a natural part of their subject.. Their theoretical perspective has clear implications for homosexuality, but they haven’t done much with it, other than nonsense. And, even some basically sensible practitioners have an alarming inability to count.

      • JayMan says:

        “You’re asking for it.”

        Yes, yes he was. 🙂

      • Maciano says:

        Mr Cochran, i wonder abt this a lot: are these people simply not intelligent and/or rational enough or are they liars and/or cowards? Could you please speculate what is more likely: liars or dumbo’s?

        In the past when i read something stupid i questioned my own sanity, no matter how honest i reasoned toward my conclusions. Pure gaslighting.

      • Patrick L. Boyle says:

        The reason that there is so little research done about homosexuality is simply because the homosexuals have an active political arm that tries to stamp out relevant research. Just as Black Lives Matter doesn’t support research on black-white differences. Think of Sociology as a discipline created to squelch findings from other disciplines, hence the biggest idea to come out of sociology in recent years – Race is a social construct.

        • Reisen says:

          Or stuff on transgenderism. NatGeo takes the gender spectrum seriously, and has now indoctrinated millions into thinking it’s real.

        • Mark F. says:

          You can look at crime stats or SAT scores and get a pretty good idea about black/white differences.

    • pyrrhus says:

      It’s reached the point where any field with the word “social” in it has become justifiably suspect as just another cultural marxist haven of non-thought. I doubt that social biology is an exception, but I certainly believe that the practitioners are doing just “fine” in today’s academic echo chamber.

  7. The Z Blog says:

    I would be curious to see the breakdown by sex of researchers in “social sciences.” I did some googling and most of the data is over ten years old. It’s also predictably biased toward the feminist rant. My guess is the feminization of the social sciences has resulted in more work done to promote drama and gain attention, rather than work aimed at discovering truths about humanity.

    The Feds keep data on bachelors degrees awarded by sex. Females account for 85% of degrees in health care, just under 80% in psychology and 80% in public policy. If you spend anytime around NIH, you’ll note it is very female, in some places it is 100% female.

  8. Sociology as a discipline ended had ended by around 1975

  9. I don’t know about embarrassed, but Jonathan Haidt was curious when his results in studying moral psychology were very different from what he expected. He has since assembled some very interesting research on the subject – and modifies his theory as new information becomes available. I think he’s on to something.

    Did I mention he is quite controversial in Social Psychology, and often roundly despised? Can’t imagine why.

    • It Ft says:

      “and modifies his theory as new information becomes available. I think he’s on to something.

      Did I mention he is quite controversial in Social Psychology, and often roundly despised? Can’t imagine why.”

      Part 1 is the answer to question in part 2.
      “Controversial” = “truth-seeking”.

      • David Wyman says:

        You translate well. I recommend you keep further translations silent in polite company.

      • Opened that on my other browser. “David Wyman” is me. Sorry to add to confusion.

        • M. M. says:

          No worries, you’re only assisting.

          …just joking 🙂 keep up the good work.

          • Thank you. The point is supposed to be “guy who notices the obvious,” which I haven’t quite mastered yet, hence “Assistant.” Assistant-To-That-Kid-Who-Noticed-The-Emperor-Had-No-Clothes was a touch unwieldy. In seriousness, it is the best thing I bring. I am smart enough, but I know a lot of smarter people, both live, in reading, and online. If only I listened to my own advice, I’d be brilliant.

            • dearieme says:

              I’ve often meant to compliment you on your pseudonym. Is the joke original?

              • Yes, and a touch accidental. I commented often on a British site called “Ship of Fools” as Village Idiot. I got irritated and stopped, but tried again about a year later, and had forgotten my password and tried to reregister. It set off sock-puppet alarms, and I could no longer use Village Idiot. I went with AVI and took a fancy to it. Unintentionally, I found trends in the people who make the obvious insulting jokes about the neke-name.

              • dearieme says:

                Ooooh, “neke-name” Awfy learned.

            • Melchizedek says:

              You’ve moved in some rarefied circles; and you’re no slouch yourself. Who in your estimation is the smartest you’ve met?

  10. I’ve not been super-impressed by the quality of sociology as a field, even though I haven’t looked all too deeply into it. One time I got into a conversation with a sociology major — an apparently bright guy with good grades — in his senior year and a friend of ours happened to mention “broken windows theory” in passing. The sociology major had never heard of the term, or the idea for that matter. A lot of psych majors aren’t too bright either, but at least a psych major usually has to learn some of the basic terms of his field before graduation.

    • Ananda H. says:

      Sociology is the study of gay hip hop performativity, flatulence on airplanes, the material relations of wine sipping, the patriarchal hegemony at the party I went to last night, and economics in Harry Potter.

      There’s a published paper behind every one of those examples. Understand it it now?

    • pyrrhus says:

      At most universities, it’s pretty much impossible for a sociology major not to get “good grades”, A- being about average…

  11. Ananda H. says:

    The title made me laugh.

  12. Gord Marsden says:

    Errors in papers just cause a new taxpayer funded study, the closest thing to a perpetual motion mschine yet invented .

  13. Nomen Est Omen says:

    Compare: “The Replication Crisis in Theology.” But it’s not a failing in sociology to have little or no connection with reality, any more than it is in theology. They serve other ends. Overlapping ones too.

  14. Xennedy says:

    Anything not worth doing at all isn’t worth doing well.

    So of course sociologists don’t care if their results are shinola.

    They get paid to churn out nonsense, key words “get paid.”

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