I recently found this link to a talk on Unexpected Science by psychology professor Kevin Dunbar. I was a little concerned at the start of the talk when Dunbar said that about half of experiments turn out wrong. I recently tweeted the following:
Almost fell into pet peeve. Wrote experiment “didn’t work”.
Technically expt worked fine, just didn’t see magnitude of effect wanted to see
I don’t think unexpected results aren’t “wrong” or necessarily mean that an experiment didn’t work. Perhaps my opinion is why I enjoyed the rest of Dunbar’s talk. The main topics he covers include:
- the use of analogies to explain unexpected results,
- significance of the type of analogy in developing a response,
- impact of the diversity of disciplines on risk tolerance and
- the reaction of the brain the storing expected vs. unexpected results.