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The decline effect and the scientific method

The decline effect and the scientific method
On September 18, 2007, a few dozen neuroscientists, psychiatrists, and drug-company executives gathered in a hotel conference room in Brussels to hear some startling news. It had to do with a class of drugs known as atypical or second-generation antipsychotics, which came on the market in the early nineties. The drugs, sold under brand names such as Abilify, Seroquel, and Zyprexa, had been tested on schizophrenics in several large clinical trials, all of which had demonstrated a dramatic decrease in the subjects’ psychiatric symptoms. As a result, second-generation antipsychotics had become one of the fastest-growing and most profitable pharmaceutical classes. By 2001, Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa was generating more revenue than Prozac. But the data presented at the Brussels meeting made it clear that something strange was happening: the therapeutic power of the drugs appeared to be steadily waning. Before the effectiveness of a drug can be confirmed, it must be tested and tested again. Related:  the bittersweet world of science publishing

Decision-making can and must be learned -- new test measures risk intelligence (Medical Xpress) -- Tests exist for evaluating personality, intelligence and memory. However, up to now, it was not easily possible to find out how good someone is at making decisions in risky situations. “Yet this is an important skill that has an enormous influence on many of our decisions,” says psychologist Edward Cokely, who came up with the idea of developing a quick test for this skill at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in 2007. In the intervening five years, he has carried out 21 sub-studies in 15 countries with colleagues from Max Planck Director Gerd Gigerenzer's group at the Institute in Berlin and the Michigan Technological University. The test works twice as well as previous methods and only takes three minutes. To develop their tests, the psychologist and his colleagues carried out experiments with several thousand subjects in North America, Europe and Asia. More information: "Berlin Numeracy Test" Are you risk literate?

Choosing Reality: A Buddhist View of Physics and the Mind - B. Alan Wallace - Google grāmatas - Choosing Reality shows how Buddhist contemplative methods of investigating reality are relevant for modern physics and psychology. How shall we understand the relationship between the way we experience reality and the way science describes it? In examining this question, Alan Wallace discusses two opposing... . lappuse A Buddhist View of Physics and the Mind B. 3. lappuse A Buddhist View of Physics and the Mind B. 4. lappuse ISBN- 1-55939-199-5 The Library of Congress catalogued the previous edition of this book as follows: Wallace, B. 7. lappuse A Buddhist View of Physics and the Mind B. 9. lappuse A Buddhist View of Physics and the Mind B. 10. lappuse A Buddhist View of Physics and the Mind B. 12. lappuse A Buddhist View of Physics and the Mind B. 13. lappuse A Buddhist View of Physics and the Mind B. 14. lappuse A Buddhist View of Physics and the Mind B. 16. lappuse A Buddhist View of Physics and the Mind B.

ESE – Ethical Sensing Extratim Type Description The trademark quality of this type is a focus on socializing and guiding social situations and interactions so that the people involved can have fun and enjoy themselves. ESEs are typically in the middle of what is happening socially and know about the latest events and what people think and feel about them. They are skilled at bringing people together in fun and interesting ways and making everyone feel actively involved. In their pursuit of fun-oriented and stimulating social interactions, ESEs typically neglect to structure their own thought processes and views in a way that would help them know exactly what they think and why. Nearer, better Absence makes your heart grow fonder, but close quarters may boost your career. According to new research by scientists at Harvard Medical School, the physical proximity of researchers, especially between the first and last author on published papers, strongly correlates with the impact of their work. “Despite all of the profound advances in information technology, such as video conferencing, we found that physical proximity still matters for research productivity and impact,” says Isaac Kohane, the Lawrence J. Henderson Professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston and director of the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The research was published in the Dec. 15 issue of PLoS ONE. Given that the Internet and social networks enable people to collaborate remotely, the researchers investigated whether proximity corresponded to the scientific impact of research as measured by citations of resulting publications. Digital drive

Atul Gawande: How Do Good Ideas Spread? Why do some innovations spread so swiftly and others so slowly? Consider the very different trajectories of surgical anesthesia and antiseptics, both of which were discovered in the nineteenth century. The first public demonstration of anesthesia was in 1846. The Boston surgeon Henry Jacob Bigelow was approached by a local dentist named William Morton, who insisted that he had found a gas that could render patients insensible to the pain of surgery. That was a dramatic claim. In those days, even a minor tooth extraction was excruciating. On October 16, 1846, at Massachusetts General Hospital, Morton administered his gas through an inhaler in the mouth of a young man undergoing the excision of a tumor in his jaw. Four weeks later, on November 18th, Bigelow published his report on the discovery of “insensibility produced by inhalation” in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal. There were forces of resistance, to be sure. Sepsis—infection—was the other great scourge of surgery.

Chocolate & Red Meat Can Be Bad for Your Science: Why Many Nutrition Studies Are All Wrong | The Crux By Gary Taubes, author of Nobel Dreams (1987), Bad Science (1993), Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007), and Why We Get Fat (2011). Taubes is a former staff member at DISCOVER. He has won the Science in Society Award of the National Association of Science Writers three times and was awarded an MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellowship for 1996-97. A modified version of this post appeared on Taubes’ blog. The last couple of weeks have witnessed a slightly-greater-than-usual outbreak of extremely newsworthy nutrition stories that could be described as bad journalism feasting on bad science. Both of these studies were classic examples of what is known technically as observational epidemiology, a field of research I discussed at great length back in 2007 in a cover article for in the New York Times Magazine. As a case study, I used a collaboration of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, led by Walter Willett, who runs the Nurses’ Health Study. Terrific.

C Rulon: The Scientific Method vs. religious “truths” | Philosophy Lounge By Charles L. Rulon Emeritus, Life and Health Sciences Long Beach City College ( “It is not so much knowl­edge of science that the public needs, as a scien­tific world view — an under­standing that we live in an orderly universe governed by physical laws that cannot be circumvented by any amount of piety or clever­ness.” — Robert L. Park, Professor of Phy­sics How do humans think they know something? There are basically four ways in which we think we know something: —Authority: We read about it or heard about it from a source we trust. —Senses: We experienced it with one or more of our senses. —Reason: We reasoned it out based on what we already think we know. —Intuition: We intuitively know it, sometimes through a “religious insight”. The problem, of course, is that each of these four ways of knowing can be notoriously un­reliable. “It’s common sense that the Earth doesn’t spin or race around the Sun. “I just know we didn’t evolve from apes. The Scientific Method

Compilation of Duality Descriptions (V.Meged, A.Ovcharov.) Duality Descriptions (Meged & Ovcharov ) © From: V.Meged, A.Ovcharov. Learn To Manage People Efficiently, 2000. Notes: For duality descriptions by Gulenko do a search for "Gulenko duality". Related discussions and links Wikisocion - Duality Full Intertype Relations Chart Making Duality Work by V. "The Seeker" = ENTp = ILE (Ne-Ti) "The Mediator" = ISFp = SEI (Si-Fe) The Seeker is somewhat 'not here and now', he longs for far-reaching projects. The Seeker is critical towards everything created earlier. The Seeker gets mobilized in critical moments: bravely repulses the enemy, protecting both his own interests and those of others. The Mediator can take care of the health and comfort of others. Although The Mediator is ostentatiously optimistic, he is very much afraid of the future, as the source of uncertainty. Ingenuousness, impulse of life and feelings represent the 'visiting card' of this dual pair. "The Analyst" = INTj = LII (Ti-Ne) "The Bonvivant" = ESFj = ESE (Fe-Si)

News Desk: More Thoughts on the Decline Effect In “The Truth Wears Off,” I wanted to explore the human side of the scientific enterprise. My focus was on a troubling phenomenon often referred to as the “decline effect,” which is the tendency of many exciting scientific results to fade over time. This empirical hiccup afflicts fields from pharmacology to evolutionary biology to social psychology. There is no simple explanation for the decline effect, but the article explores several possibilities, from the publication biases of peer-reviewed journals to the “selective reporting” of scientists who sift through data. This week, the magazine published four very thoughtful letters in response to the piece. The first letter, like many of the e-mails, tweets, and comments I’ve received directly, argues that the decline effect is ultimately a minor worry, since “in the long run, science prevails over human bias.” That’s a pretty perfect example of selective reporting in science. But that’s not always the case. Illustration: Laurent Cilluffo

Gut feelings: the future of psychiatry may be inside your stomach Her parents were running out of hope. Their teenage daughter, Mary, had been diagnosed with a severe case of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as ADHD. They had dragged her to clinics around the country in an effort to thwart the scary, intrusive thoughts and the repetitive behaviors that Mary felt compelled to perform. Their last hope for Mary was Boston-area psychiatrist James Greenblatt. Greenblatt started by posing the usual questions about Mary’s background, her childhood, and the onset of her illness. That’s what prompted Greenblatt to take a surprising approach: besides psychotherapy and medication, Greenblatt also prescribed Mary a twice-daily dose of probiotics, the array of helpful bacteria that lives in our gut. Her parents may have been stunned, but to Greenblatt, Mary’s case was an obvious one. Greenblatt’s provocative idea — that psychiatric woes can be solved by targeting the digestive system — is increasingly reinforced by cutting-edge science. Read next:

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