I’m just back from the Institute of Education Sciences’ Principle Investigators conference in Washington D.C. It was an envigorating trip for me, and not only because of the opportunity to catch up with colleagues and friends from across the country. A running theme across several of the keynote addresses was the importance of increasing the transparency and replicability of education research, and it was exciting to hear about promising reforms underway and to talk about how to change the norms of our discipline(s).
How is statistical analysis like the Odyssey? Here’s an analogy that I used in my research methods course last semester to explain the purpose of study pre-registration. If you’ve ever read the Odyssey, you’ll recall the story of the Sirens, the enchanting lady-monsters whose singing lures to certain death any sailor who hears them. (See Wikipedia for crib notes.) On the advise of his witch-friend Circe, Odysseus pulls a stunt so that he can hear the song of the Sirens while still making it safely past.