Unpublished paper: Falsification resilience in evolutionary psychology

I attempted to have a paper published in The Psychologist about something I refer to as “falsification resilience” within psychology, especially evolutionary psychology. The paper addresses the issue that theories within psychology are often flawed, but evade rejection because it must be reliably falsified and replaced by a better theory. I illustrated how this is potentially more prevalent in evolutionary psychology using the hunter-gatherer theory as an example.

This is not an experimental study, just a short paper for the ‘New Voices’ segment in The Psychologist. While I did receive good feedback from the reviewers, the paper was ultimately rejected because it was not innovative enough for the column in question. This I feel is justified, as this kind of Lakatonian thinking is prevalent within psychology. What I considered novel about my paper was the suggestion to abandon conflicting theories in search for better ones, and the illustration of falsification resilience within evolutionary psychology. The Psychologist journal emphasise topics which are new, and this was not considered new enough. The reviewers did, however, find my suggestion to test object location memory on lions a great idea. I was of course welcome to submit other articles in the future.

If you are interested in reading the paper itself, it is attached in the Download Section.

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