The Outliers

Why be careful about the tendency to generalize studies performed on American college students to humans as a whole? Here is another reason why: Americans are NOT necessarily typical of human beings. (Hat tip: Pacific Standard Magazine.)

excerpt:

The empirical foundation of the behavioral sciences comes principally from experiments with American undergraduates. The patterns we have identified in the available (albeit limited) data indicate that this sub‐subpopulation is highly unusual along many important psychological and behavioral dimensions. It is not merely that researchers frequently make generalizations from a narrow subpopulation. The concern is that this particular subpopulation is highly unrepresentative of the species. .

PDF Here:

( http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~henrich/pdfs/Weird_People_BBS_final02.pdf ).

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