Psychology of the scientist: An analysis of problem-solving bias

  title={Psychology of the scientist: An analysis of problem-solving bias},
  author={Michael J. Mahoney and Bob G. DeMonbreun},
  journal={Cognitive Therapy and Research},
The problem-solving skills of 30 Ph.D. scientists were compared to those of 15 conservative Protestant ministers. Of particular interest was the frequency with which these groups generated confirmatory (rather than disconfirmatory)experiments to test their hypotheses. Experimental results showed that—contrary to a popular assumption—the reasoning skills of the scientists were not significantly different from those of nonscientists. In this study, the ministers showed a longer latency to… 
Psychology of the Scientist: An Evaluative Review
Although the social processes in scientific inquiry have received extensive analysis, psychologists have devoted relatively little attention to the thoughts, feelings, and actions of the individual
Meehl (1978) argued that clinical psychology has made slow scientific progress and in the subsequent forty years this situation unfortunately has not changed. This paper argues that the reasons for
Publication prejudices: An experimental study of confirmatory bias in the peer review system
  • M. Mahoney
  • Psychology
    Cognitive Therapy and Research
  • 2005
Confirmatory bias is the tendency to emphasize and believe experiences which support one's views and to ignore or discredit those which do not. The effects of this tendency have been repeatedly
When Homer Nods: An Examination of Some Systematic Errors in Rorschach Scholarship
  • J. Masling
  • Psychology
    Journal of personality assessment
  • 2006
Those who criticize the Rorschach dismiss the objectivity of the American Psychological Association (APA) Blue Ribbon Panel, which concluded that the test has proven validity, and by implication, they also dismiss the APA peer review process that approved the panel report.
Who Believes in the Storybook Image of the Scientist?
The “storybook image of the scientist” is pervasive: American lay people and scientists from over 60 countries attributed considerably more objectivity, rationality, open-mindedness, intelligence, integrity, and communality to scientists than to other highly-educated people.
Intuitions and introspections about imagery: the role of imagery experience in shaping an investigator's theoretical views
Early in a scientific debate, before much evidence has accumulated, why are some scientists inclined toward one position and other scientists toward the opposite position? We explore this issue with
Creativity and Inductive Reasoning: The Relationship between Divergent Thinking and Performance on Wason's 2—4—6 Task
The results imply that successful participants benefited from the provision of feedback on the first announcement by switching to a more successful strategy in the hypothesis-testing sequence, and supported earlier studies where disconfirmation was shown to play a more important role in the later stages of hypothesis testing.
The impact of external representation in a rule discovery task
The 2-4-6 rule discovery task introduced by Wason (1960) elicits generally poor hypothesis-testing behaviour as reflected by the underwhelming effort and creativity participants invest in the process


The Ideology of Academic Scientists
  • S. West
  • Psychology
    IRE Transactions on Engineering Management
  • 1960
The moral values associated with scientific research were studied by means of interviews with 57 academic researchers of faculty status. The areas examined were freedom in research, impartiality,
Consequences of Prejudice Against the Null Hypothesis
The consequences of prejudice against accepting the null hypothesis were examined through (a) a mathematical model intended to stimulate the research-publication process and (b) case studies of
On the Failure to Eliminate Hypotheses in a Conceptual Task
The results showed that those subjects, who reached two or more incorrect conclusions, were unable, or unwilling to test their hypotheses, and the implications are discussed in relation to scientific thinking.
The Open and Closed Mind
Cognition and Behavior Modification