Alexa's research examines how people make sense of the world. Her work touches on political, religious, and scientific domains, exploring how people maintain their beliefs, what they think of people with opposing beliefs, and what it takes for people to change their minds. Some of her work is meta-scientific, using psychological research methods to study the operation of psychology as a field.
Alexa is also 1/3 of The Black Goat, the first and best podcast about psychology.
January 12th, 2022 | 1 hr 8 mins
meehl, methods, spielraum, tandem bikes, theory, zelda
Alexa and Yoel do a deep dive into Paul Meehl's paper on theory evaluation, "Appraising and Amending Theories: The Strategy of Lakatosian Defense and Two Principles that Warrant It." It's a classic of methodology and philosophy of science, but what can it tell us about how to do better research?
December 8th, 2021 | 1 hr 14 mins
dolly parton, feyerabend, method, philosophy of science
Alexa and Yoel tackle Paul Feyerabend, the wild man of philosophy of science. What can we learn from his provocative "anything goes" argument for methodological anarchy? And, more generally, what can working scientists learn from philosophers of science?
November 17th, 2021 | 1 hr 7 mins
cardi b, field experiments, methods, preregistration, researcher degrees of freedom
Alexa and Yoel talk about objections to preregistration. Does preregistration imply that researchers can't be trusted? Does it mean that they can't use their best judgment? When might preregistration be unhelpful? We also discuss how preregistration would have helped in a recent paper testing Cardi B's maxim that "hoes don't get cold."
November 3rd, 2021 | 1 hr 7 mins
causal inference, nobel prize, non-experimental data
Alexa and Yoel talk about a paper purporting to show that winning the Nobel Prize increases your lifespan. In the process, they dip their toes into non-experimental causal inference.
October 13th, 2021 | 1 hr 24 mins
kidneys, mountain climbing, orgasms, parenting, suffering
Paul Bloom joins us to talk about why we want to suffer. Sometimes it's a means to an end, but sometimes we desire it for its own sake. Plus, a very special extra guest host.
September 29th, 2021 | 1 hr 22 mins
data police, dishonesty, fraud, open data
Yoel and Alexa are joined by Joe Simmons to talk about fraud in behavioral science. How common is it, how do you detect it, and what can we do to prevent it?
September 15th, 2021 | 59 mins 21 secs
The story of how a graduate student climate survey at the University of Alabama led to a very contentious year.
September 1st, 2021 | 1 hr 6 mins
good life, happiness, meaning, richness
Alexa and Yoel discuss a new paper arguing that psychological richness is an overlooked aspect of the good life (well, overlooked by well-being researchers, anyway). Also, Alexa reviews an (accidentally-purchased) alcohol-free beer.
August 11th, 2021 | 1 hr 4 mins
aging, politics, research methods, self-care, writing
Alexa and Yoel tackle the most dreaded subject: getting older. Have they become better researchers and people over the years? Are they happier and more connected? Or are they just more forgetful and less good at stats?
July 21st, 2021 | 1 hr 11 mins
rejected paper parties, self-care, summer, work-life balance, workload
Alexa and Yoel go deep on self-care. What is it, how do you do it, and why does the term raise Yoel's hackles? How hard do we actually work, and should we be trying to work less?
July 7th, 2021 | 1 hr 24 mins
creativity, hating, joy, salty lassi, skepticism
Alexa and Yoel discuss "The Anticreativity Letters," a satirical article by Richard Nisbett that advises young psychology researchers to (among other things) avoid being overly critical. How does that advice hold up today? How does one combine appropriate skepticism with enthusiasm for research? Or are the two in conflict at all?
June 9th, 2021 | 1 hr 26 mins
open science, preregistration, publishing, scientific utopia
Yoel and Alexa discuss progress in open science over the past 10 years. Is the scientific reform glass half-full or half-empty? Where have we made progress, and what still needs work? Also, the true story of how Ashley Madison got its name.