Why Do Experiments?

On psychologist Simine Vazire's always-excellent blog, sometimes i'm wrong, there is an excerpt from John Doris's forthcoming book that reacts to #repligate. Doris makes many important points about
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On psychologist Simine Vazire's always-excellent blog, sometimes i'm wrong, there is an excerpt from John Doris's forthcoming book that reacts to #repligate. Doris makes many important points about how philosophers should respond to this episode in psychology, such as not relying too much on any single study, including any single replication.However, I want to take issue with one parenthetical remark. Doris writes "(Less cynically: if scientific findings weren’t surprising, why would we need experiments and publications?)". Although this may just be a throwaway remark for Doris, I actually think it might be a somewhat common thought. The thought is that experiments get some of their value from surprisingness -- i.e. disconfirming some intuitive thought. Or, put it in the reverse direction, if people were able to reliably predict whether an experiment would confirm or disconfirm a commonsense belief, then there would be less reason for us to do such an experiment.I don't think that's. . .

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News source: Experimental Philosophy

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