KEY FEATURES: A student-friendly writing style makes the content more approachable for readers to retain. Personal stories from fellows of the Association of Psychological Science (APS) convey to readers that even the most distinguished experts make mistakes that can be avoided through examination. Critical thinking questions give students the opportunity to reflect on preceding essays. Stories from all areas of psychology appeal to learners beyond subfields of psychology.

When Results Are Too Good to Be True, They Are Probably Not True

When Results Are Too Good to Be True, They Are Probably Not True

Thomas S. Wallsten Gal Zauberman Dan Ariely

This egregious research error occurred some 25 years ago. The experiment, which we will outline shortly, yielded surprising and very consistent results that completely undermined our understanding of the process we were studying—or so we thought until a reviewer of our submitted manuscript brought us up short. This brief essay describes what happened as best as we can recollect it now.

Complete disclosure requires stating up front that none of us has retained records or files of that research, which ultimately did not result in a published report. Each of ...

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