Systems Science Friday Noon Seminar Series

Social Science in the Information Age: Toward a Paradigm for Integrating Research, Publication and Theory Development



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The application of the scientific method to social psychology and related disciplines has long been rife with controversies, and recent failures to replicate many of the results from classical psychology experiments prompt continued doubts about the general validity of social scientific theories. I present a framework that attempts to reconcile the interdependent (but often antagonistic) relations between reliability and validity in individual empirical studies, iterative verification and validation of inherently multi-level social phenomena, and how such necessary synergies are suppressed under the current paradigm of research and publishing. Along this vein, we explore some tentative solutions informed by the successes of contemporary knowledge-building projects (including the crowd-sourcing of certain data collection procedures, modular networked ‘wiki’-like pages of related theories and studies, and indexing of experimental replications) that may be incorporated in sensible measures by both small and large publishing institutions.

Biographical Information

Jonathan Straus is a Master’s Student in the Systems Science Program. He has dabbled in psychology, with a particularly keen interest in experimental social psychology and (more generally) modeling and epistemology in the social sciences.


Scientific method -- Applications to social psychology, Academic publishing, Social sciences -- Philosophy


Publishing | Theory, Knowledge and Science

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Social Science in the Information Age: Toward a Paradigm for Integrating Research, Publication and Theory Development