#BWNFridayPost: Superiority and stigma in modern psychology and neuroscience

Link to the paper

Here is a twitter thread by the author

This paper by Rebecca Schwarzlose discusses the biases often in place among neuroscience and psychology researchers, particularly in terms of assumptions concerning what type of brain is superior, and what counts as a deficit: “The standard approach to studying aging or stigmatized conditions is to compare neural or cognitive measures from the stigmatized group with those of a control group without the condition. While this approach is scientifically sound, our interpretations of the findings are often biased by the assumption that people without stigmatized conditions are neurally and mentally ideal.”

These assumptions can lead to poorer interpretations of results, as well as bias the data collection process itself. In addition to discussing this problem in research, this paper suggest several strategies to combat these biases–such as collecting other data potentially related to performance (i.e. sleep quality and hearing) and asking stigmatized groups about points of confusion within the protocol during the Pilot (and adjusting accordingly prior to capturing data).