Research Journal #4

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The recent two weeks have been very packed up with course work and research tasks. I didn't take the time to write the reflection last week. All blame on me.

Working habit

I am always aware the importance of cultivating efficient and sustainable working habits, but never succeed in it. There are still tons of randomness and spontaneity in my every day life, with a lack of organization and concentration. But what should be my key focus everyday?

I listened to a podcast today given by a chinese political scientist, he said that for a scholar, reading and thinking are not working. Only writing is. Young scholars today spend too much time reading, but too little time writing. What a sharp statement! This scholar himself gets up at 5 everyday and writes for 4 hours before having breakfast. He argues that saving this uninterrupted time for your most important task is the key to a happy and productive research career. I'm not sure if this is true, but what I'm certain is that I need to raise the importance of doing research (either writing or doing analysis) and save uninterrupted time for it.

The best time period for me is the morning time. My morning time right now is a bit chaotic. I make breakfast, read news, do exercise, go to gym and the work usually starts at 10. Research tasks should go upfront when I get up. Do those stuff afterwards. Try to cultivate this habit starting from next week.

Replicability of Research

This week I listened to a very though-provoking seminar from a faculty member who talked about the replicability issue of consumer psychology research. Their paper tries to replicate around 20 research studies published in top journals in consumer psychology, and found that very few of them can be replicated. The finding suggests that the trustworthiness of research findings in the field is not high.

Tricks such as p-hacking and file drawering experiments are used to only report the good results. Though the viable solutions are already there such as pre-registering the studies (journal accept the paper before the experiments are run), and publishing the code and data, the field is moving slow to this practices.

My take on this is that as a scientist, adhering to scientific principles and rules is always the bottom line. If there are better practices I may use to improve the rigor of my work, and get closer to the "truth", I should do it. This is just the right thing to do.

© Zhiwei (Berry) Wang.RSS