Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fixing Psychology, 100 Posts at a time!

So, there I was, pre-tenure at a schizophrenic part-research-university, part-liberal-arts-college, part-trade-school, with a disabled wife and two young girls... and I figured I had enough time on my hands to start a blog. Probably not the smartest move, but it has gone pretty well so far.

FixingPsychology is just over two-years old, and this is the 100th post. With some feverish periods and a few dry spells, that means I have kept surprisingly close to a post a week, on average. Even better, I think very few of them sucked. In honor achieving this arbitrary, but culturally-significant, number, I have cleaned things up a bit (making sure every post had labels, adding a word cloud to the right side bar, etc.) and decided that a short retrospective was in order....

Who is reading the blog? What are they reading? Are there any bigger picture or themes? What might a reasonable reader expect in the next hundred posts?

Who is reading this blog?
Google Analytics shows that I had 774 distinct readers during December (month selected to represent a period of more regular posts). I don't know if that is good or bad by the standards of sciencey bloggers, but given how out-of-the-mainstream many of my topics are, I think it is pretty amazing! Even more impressive, from my perspective, they came from 61 distinct countries, and within the US I had readers in 47 states.

Since the blog was formed, there have been over 10,000 unique visitors from 131 countries!

Here are a world map and a US map:




What are they reading?
Not all posts are equally interesting, I have had some duds, and some real winners.

Unsurprisingly, the highest hit counts have been for more general topics:
  1. Eight things wrong with Introductory Psychology
  2. New Trends for Finding Fraud in Experimental Psychology
  3. Holiday Specials - A Year of Scandal in Psychology
  4. What is wrong with Infant Looking Research
A decent number of people have also read the blog's mission statement.

According to the tracking software in Blogger, the median post was read 177 times, but there was a mean of 260 (SD = 297), indicating a strong positive skew.

There are only a small number of posts where I am surprised by the low relative number of views. These tended to be early on, and included:
  1. Memory and X-men Origins
  2. A Brief Introduction to Ecological Psychology
  3. Verbal Behavior, the Weather Man, and the Fundamental Lie of Professional Poker

What are the themes?
For the most part the posts of the blog have fallen into four themes, broad issues in psychology, ecological psychology, radical behaviorism, and important books about radical embodied cognition. There are also decent number of posts discussing broader issues in academia.

I have also had a series of posts giving awards for things that shouldn't be in top journals, and occasionally recognizing very cool things in top journals. The format of those entries is still in-progress, but they will hopefully come back soon as a regular feature.

What might reasonable readers expect in the next 100 posts?
If I can get my act together, the next post will be another attempt at a mission statement. After that, the above themes are likely to continue. The following themes will likely intermix:

Academia: I have a few more posts in my series regrading adjunct professors, and then I want to turn some attention towards trying to articulate the value of a liberal arts education.

Unifying Psychology: My special issue is out, but discussion hasn't happened yet, and there are next steps to be taken (some already in progress).

History and Theory of Psychology: Expect more developing the connection between pragmatism and (as I am now branding it) the Once and Future Behaviorism.

Also, if anyone is interested, I might try to do a quick "book club" for The Freudian Wish and Its Place in Ethics, which is available freely online. It is a deceptively short and easy read (about 200 short-form pages), that holds the key to connecting both Radical Behaviorism and Gibson's Ecological Psychology to the work of William James and other American philosophers. Drop a line in the comments here or shoot me an email if you would be interested.

1 comment:

  1. Very interested to read what you have to say about pragmatism and Future Behaviorism.

    As an aside, your blog has helped me appreciate more fully the common ground between behaviorism, ecological psychology, and embodied or extended cognition, among others. I'm more familiar with a behavior-analytic approach but find much to like about the other work often mentioned in your blog. I look forward to reading more.

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