European Association of Social Psychology
Summer School

17-30 August 2014
ISCTE-IUL | ICS-UL Lisbon Portugal

Klaus Fiedler (University of Heidelberg) & Leonel Garcia-Marques (FP-UL)


The basic assumption that underlies and guides this workshop states that there is no crisis in social psychology as one of the most productive branches of behavioral science. If anything, we are facing an important developmental task, which is not primarily one of gathering larger samples of data or increasing the level of statistical power. Rather, our major developmental task is to improve theorizing and the logic of science. Meta-analyses and replication projects presuppose that empirical findings are valid and clearly understood at the theoretical level and not flawed at the methodological level. If these premises are not met, increasing the empirical data base may serve to reinforce erroneous inferences rather than scientific insights. The present workshop will illustrate this priority of theories over data with reference to several prominent research topics.  We will dare to tackle examples of weak theorizing and overlooked alternative theories as well as some of the major methodological obstacles in the way of cumulative science. We will also present and discuss some critical tools for theory-building (e.g., hypothesis-generation heuristics, signal-detection theory, diagnosticity-based experimental design and strong inference methods). However, in dealing with these issues, we will stick to the conviction that behavioral science is replete with fascinating findings and challenges, and it is to serve a leading role in solving scientific problems in the 21st century. Rather than only dealing with theories and methods, we will definitely encourage concrete experiments based on the positive lessons extracted from this workshop.