• Question: In your opinion, what's the best scientific study?

    Asked by anon-354955 on 13 Mar 2023.
    • Photo: Emily McDougal

      Emily McDougal answered on 13 Mar 2023:

      This is really tricky to answer because there are so many really influential studies that moved on our understanding of psychology. One of my favourite experiments is probably the mirror test with babies, because it can be done by anyone and its super cute to see what happens! The test involves placing a dot on the forehead of an infant and placing them in front of a mirror. If they touch the dot, it shows that they understand that they are seeing their own reflection, indicating some sense of self. Babies pass this at different ages, with most passing by the age of 2 years, and reflects a developmental milestone!

    • Photo: Jo Van Herwegen

      Jo Van Herwegen answered on 14 Mar 2023:

      Good Scientific studies start with an interesting question that solves an important problem (i.e., who cares about it?). So the study is high in significance. In addition to asking an interesting question, good studies require a good hypothesis that is based on theory or previous research. So, good studies have good scientific rigour: it means that the authors are using carefully though-out methodology to answer their question. These days that would also mean pre-registering their study protocol on open science access database so studies can be replicated.
      Good studies take time to develop and require all aspects of the study to be thought out carefully.

    • Photo: Joanne Cummings

      Joanne Cummings answered on 20 Mar 2023:

      This is a difficult one to answer. Research studies, to some degree, will have shortcomings but there are certain aspects of a research study that can be designed and controlled for, to allow confidence in the findings and what has been found is not a result of error.