PSY Speaker Adam Mastroianni, Ph.D. ~ Things Could Be Better

Speaker Mastroianni
April 25, 2024 12:45 PM-1:50 PM

Eight studies reveal a (possibly universal) bias in human imagination: people are always imagining how things could be better. This bias has shown up on every item we’ve ever tested, it shows up in people’s spontaneous thoughts, and it doesn’t seem to matter who we ask or how we ask them. It shows up when we ask Polish participants in English, and when we ask Chinese participants in Mandarin. We tried to write this up for a journal, but it sucked, so we just wrote it up in normal words and put it on the internet instead. We got a huge reaction and helpful feedback. Which made me wonder: what’s the whole point of scientific journals anyway? I did a deep dive into the history and evidence behind publishing and peer review, which I’ve come to believe is a failed intervention. We’ve turned science into a monoculture, when what we really need is the most diverse ecosystem possible. That’s why I’ve become a weirdo who publishes research directly to the public. In academia, as in everything else, things could be better.


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