To my dear followers

To my dear followers:  Is it too much?  I hope  getting so many notices in your INboxes doesn’t piss you off, and if so, is there a modification we might make to the program somehow?  I’ d hate to lose you .

I write a lot. (ask me how many journals, plays, articles, books, I’ve penned for the past 35 years if you want…augh!)   Right now, I’m working on this new form — it is new for me, insofar as I tweak my prose as I tilt When-3D-e1511881329973the audience.

So this is a quick read… too quick perhaps?  This is Daniel H. Pink’s Current work

Ever heard of it?  Read it?  Super popular–which perhaps explains what I’m going to say here in a quick little note.

(I am doing some research as part of my sabbatical this year — yes, it’s true, those of us in higher education can still earn sabbaticals, though I think the tax payers may cry foul sooner than later for those of  us employed at public institutions. The super shorthand overview is this:  I am looking at what I call “the states of learning.”  I am examining the different physical and mental states of being that affect our ability to learn, our rising and falling acumen over time–time of day, year, etc…why and how does this fluctuate?  This format may serve as part of this research in the coming months.)

But to get right to it.  WHEN  (above) caught my attention this Spring.  Pink works at being clever and cute. Ugh.  He stretches his “evidence” and makes flabby conclusions.  He subtitles his book,  “the scientific secrets of perfect timing.”  His “science is hardly science at all, insofar as his observations seem surface and obvious,  his conclusions are flabby and his data is stretched…do readers really buy this as science?  I’m all for questioning the assumptions tucked behind data and stats,  but this book just dances over the very surface of more salient questions.  This is one of my problems with the social sciences…they claim to analyze data, but they seem to sweep up numbers to support their overly constructed narratives…? whoops…my use of “they” is a foul… but much of  reading of popular non-fiction leans this way.  Make the assumptions, find some data, tweak the interpretation, and presto…”proof.”

I’m all for the concepts in this book — duh…it’s a brick in my sabbatical research, the thesis that we are rather fluid creatures when it comes to our productivity throughout the day…circadian rhythms and all that.  But come on Mr. Pink… press down harder on the paper, would you?

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “To my dear followers

  1. alexithymicblogger says:

    I’ve noticed this in many pop. science books. The claims made in a text sound impressive, but the actual study they cite is not really convincing!

    Do you think it is the nature of social sciences as a discipline? Trying to account for social behaviour with a given factor means there are so many additional variables that could account for, or contribute to, a given effect.

    In other disciplines, such as cognitive psychology, the data seem on the whole more convincing. (Although the theory can often sound so abstruse as to be incredibly difficult to unpick.) I guess if you are measuring reaction time on a Stroop task it probably really does measure automaticity of word retrieval rather than, your in-group and personality.

    Like

  2. alexithymicblogger says:

    Of course, the Stroop task involves presenting a stimulus word to a participant. This is usually a colour, i.e. ‘GREEN’ but each stimulus is presented in different colour ink. The task is to name the colour of the ink, not the colour the word means. So, it is easy to name the correct colour when the ink is the same as the word, but difficult when the word is a different colour from the ink. Hence, it requires suppressing an automatic response (naming the colour the word says) in favour of a controlled response (naming the colour of the ink).

    Here is a link that may have a clearer explanation: https://www.psytoolkit.org/lessons/stroop.html

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rachellepell says:

    I love this. I had heard of this concept but didn’t know the name…another missing piece up there. I will share these ideas asap. Thanks for reading — we’ll read, write and respond — not a bad way to spend our time.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.