…iciently searching their data for publishable effects. With some additional reading and reflection, I am able to help her spin a convincing story about why the control variables she entered are relevant to the study we’ve published. It becomes a conference presentation.
Yikes, I am just cringing as I'm reading this! I'm curious what sort of graduate program you were in? When I was getting my PHD in Experimental Psychology, they hammered into us that these practices (running analyses w/o a hypothesis, running multiple regressions or correlations and ad hoc explanations) were highly problematic. We learned it in class, and in the lab. But I always wondered if my clinical counterparts were learning the same thing. It's so frustrating, because psychological research gets such a bad rap, and this is exactly why! I hope we can do more to combat it. Thanks for writing this piece.