Brief psychology news 07/2019

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July 2019 news from Clinical Psychology, Quantitative Psychology, Meta Psychology, and Open Science. For prior news, see the rubric Psychology News on this blog.


  1. Psychology Today has a number of new blogs by researchers; they recruited fairly heavily at APS. For instance, check out the new blog “The Game Changers” by Jennifer Tackett.
  2. Allsopp et al. on “Heterogeneity in psychiatric diagnostic classification”
  3. Baldwin et al. on “Agreement Between Prospective and Retrospective Measures of Childhood Maltreatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis”
  4. White & Holder on “Meta-analyses of positive psychology interventions: The effects are much smaller than previously reported”
  5. Marquand et al. on “Conceptualizing mental disorders as deviations from normative functioning”; really nice methods review and tutorial for normative models
  6. Paulus & Thompson on “The Challenges and Opportunities of Small Effects The New Normal in Academic Psychiatry”
  7. Fredrik Hieronymus et al. on “Influence of baseline severity on the effects of SSRIs in depression: an item-based, patient-level post-hoc analysis”; paper shows that antidepressants differentially impact on individual depression symptoms, especially in non-severe depression, and that treatment also seems to worsen specific symptoms such as weight changes and libido
  8. Hengartner & Plöderl on “Newer-Generation Antidepressants and Suicide Risk in Randomized Controlled Trials: A Re-Analysis of the FDA Database”; moneyquote: “The suicide rate was higher in the antidepressant than in the placebo group (OR = 2.83, 95% CI = 1.13–9.67, p = 0.02)”
  9. Interesting Hertz podcast episode on GWAS and the demise of candidate gene approaches, feat. Kevin Mitchell


  1. Dima on “Scale validation in applied health research: tutorial for a 6-step R-based psychometrics protocol”
  2. Katie Gates et al. on “Latent Variable GIMME Using Model Implied Instrumental Variables (MIIVs)”; this allows modeling time-series data using GIMME whilst including latent variables
  3. New blog post by Peter Kuppens on the ‘mobileQ’, a free, open source software to collecting experience sampling data
  4. Great website “Complexity Explained
  5. A recent paper showed that an AI trained on older scientific papers made disoveries years before they happened; VICE had a nice summary of the paper
  6. Cassidy et al. on “Failing Grade: 89% of Introduction-to-Psychology Textbooks That Define or Explain Statistical Significance Do So Incorrectly”
  7. Patrick Curran & Dan Bauer made available 170 pages of R lavaan tutorials.
  8. Fantastic Twitter thread about parallel analyses, and recent work on the topic
  9. After getting this request many times in the last months, I put together an ultra-brief explanation of conditioning on colliders on Twitter


  1. Hochstein on “How metaphysical commitments shape the study of psychological mechanisms”
  2. Amy Orben & Daniel Lakens on “Crud (Re)defined” — a preprint about Meehl’s famous crud factor; the authors “track the history of the crud factor and examines how its use in the scientific literature has developed to this day”
  3. Sassenberg & Ditrich on “Research in Social Psychology Changed Between 2011 and 2016: Larger Sample Sizes, More Self-Report Measures, and More Online Studies”
  4. Moving from authorship to contributorship — blog post by Alex Holcombe (related paper)

Open science

  1. SIPS 2019 happened last week — the Society for the Improvement of Psychology Science. I had the privilege to give 2 workshops there, with Don Robinaugh on “Improving Psychological Science by Formalizing Psychological Theories: The Value of Computational Modeling”, and with Jessica Flake on “Questionable Measurement Practices and how to Avoid Them”. You can find all materials here. A lot more happened: dozens of workshops, hackathons, unconferences, and other nameless things. You can find all materials on the SIPS 2019 landing page on the OSF — definitely worth browsing for a few hours.
  2. Olivia Kirtley et al. on “Making the black box transparent: A pre-registration template for studies using Experience Sampling Methods (ESM)”
  3. Olivie Kirtley et al. started an open repository of ESM items: “Our aim is to support the further development, transparency and reproducibility of ESM research by creating an open repository of existing ESM items”
  4. If people claim pre-registrations hinders exploratory work, please send them to Laura Scherer for clarification :)
  5. Omer et al. with a letter on predatory publishing in Psychiatry. In sum, 126 predatory journals (PJ) were launched between 2007 & 2018; there were 6925 articles with 19673 total citations; 18079 of the citations come from legitimate journals; papers have 26363 coauthors from 133 countries; common affiliations for authors in PJs were USA and Iran
  6. Tal Yarkoni hates open science
  7. Chivers blog entitled “Does psychology have a conflict-of-interest problem?”

Book of the month

R. Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621. Features a list of causes for depression, including “loss of liberty”, “education”, “poverty”, “death of friends”, “sorrow (as cause & symptom)”, “immoderate eating/bad diet”, and “temperament & parents, it being a hereditary disease”. Also features some causes that haven’t survived the test of time too well, such as “hot brain”, “witchcraft”, and “overmuch garlic”. I’m torn about “vehement desires” ;).

PS: Lancet Psychiatry published an incredibly nice profile about me :)

PS2: Cannot find the full of the paper I’m linking to? I describe a way around the problem here; keyword ‘sci-hub’.

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