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.

Lessons Learned From a Failed Experiment

Lessons Learned From a Failed Experiment

Paul Slovic

I was taught to design experiments in order to test hypotheses derived from theories. Early on, I began to stray from that path. I designed experiments to answer questions I was curious about. Sometimes I did have a hypothesis about how the data would turn out. Often I was wrong. Then I would examine the data from multiple perspectives and sometimes come upon incidental, surprising findings that appeared more interesting to me than the question I had originally hoped to answer. I would abandon the original idea and set out to examine the new one.

Looking back, I see that many of the research paths I am most fond of turned out ...

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