Marginally Significant

Marginally Significant

Marginally Significant is a podcast discussing life in academia, issues with scientific research, and current events. Marginally Significant is hosted by Andrew Smith, Twila Wingrove, Andrew Monroe, and Chris Holden. These four psychologists were all trained at research-focused institutions, but now teach at a comprehensive university. Their unique experiences and shifting roles within their university allow them to see academic life from a particular perspective—a perspective that, although shared by many researchers, teachers, and academics, is often not represented by academics from elite universities. Listen to Marginally Significant to hear their opinions and insights, let them know when you agree or disagree, and contribute to the diversity of perspectives about scientific research and teaching in higher education.


May 4, 2020 88 mins
Twitter post: Baumeister paper:
Marginally Significant is hosted by: Andrew Smith @andrewrsmith ( Twila Wingrove @twilawingrove ( Andrew Monroe @monroeandrew ( Chris Holden @profcjholden (https:/...
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Marginally Significant is hosted by: Andrew Smith @andrewrsmith ( Twila Wingrove @twilawingrove ( Andrew Monroe @monroeandrew ( Chris Holden @profcjholden ( You can contact Marginally Significant on Twitter (@marginallysig (, through email (marginallysig@gmail...
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January 31, 2020 65 mins
Do you have a file drawer? Cleaning out the file drawer is an idea that has been floating around on twitter, but is it feasible? What does it mean for past studies? Is there a way in which we could get a sense of how many studies are in file drawers? Also, we discuss writing letters of recommendation and how we evaluate the ones we read.
Marginally Significant is hosted by: Andrew Smith @andrewrsmith (
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November 14, 2019 74 mins
Are you on the academic job market? In this episode, we discuss our experiences being on the market, tips for success at a wide variety of universities, and our thoughts now that we've been on hiring committees. Most people won't be hired at an R1 university. Understanding what other types of universities are looking for can increase the likelihood of getting an academic job.
Marginally Significant is hosted by: Andrew Smith...
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October 16, 2019 66 mins
We are required to judge people, whether it is students applying for graduate programs or faculty members going up for tenure. A number of graduate programs have dropped the GRE as a requirement for applications. Many of these programs cite potential biases in the GRE as a reason for removing the requirement. Proponents of the GRE state that, while possibly biased, the GRE is likely to be less biased than alternatives (e.g., letter...
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September 26, 2019 60 mins
Is it worth the time and effort to apply for grants when only a small percentage are funded? A recent paper by Kevin Gross and Carl Bergstrom (2019) suggests grant competitions in their corrent form are not worth it. We weigh in on our thoughts about the paper as well as grant funding, in general. We also briefly talk about the aspect of our jobs that motivate us to keep working. Spoiler alert: it is not applying for grants.
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August 31, 2019 73 mins
Is open science open to everyone? Are there potential costs to engaging in open science practices? Should diversity be a core value of open science? In this episode we attempt to tackle these potentially polarizing questions.
Marginally Significant is hosted by: Andrew Smith @andrewrsmith ( Twila Wingrove @twilawingrove ( Andrew Monroe @monroeandrew (https://...
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August 10, 2019 62 mins
The call to use larger sample sizes in psychological research has been around for decades, but only relatively recently have researchers substantially increased the number of people in their studies. Although this change is certainly a good thing, it is quite possible that the emphasis on large sample sizes impacts certainly people (e.g., researchers with limited funding and access to no or small participant pools) and research are...
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July 24, 2019 61 mins
Most academics go to conferences, but who are they good for? Are there disparities in who can attend and who benefits from conferences? In this episode, we talk about one potential factor contributing to disparities--differences in travel funding available at different universities. We also talk about our own experiences with what we've gotten out of conferences with respect to our research, teaching, and mentoring of students.
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July 7, 2019 61 mins
Collaborations are the norm, but can sometimes be a challenge. In this episode, we discuss issues we've had and ways we've dealt with collaborating with faculty members, students, and previous advisors.
Marginally Significant is hosted by: Andrew Smith @andrewrsmith ( Twila Wingrove @twilawingrove ( Andrew Monroe @monroeandrew (
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June 13, 2019 51 mins
As professors, we often serve in many different roles: teacher, researcher, mentor, administrator, program director. With so many jobs, how do we define ourselves? With which role do we most identify? In this episode, we talk about our academic identities, how they have changed over time, and how our identities might shape other people's perceptions of us.
Marginally Significant is hosted by: Andrew Smith @andrewrsmith (http...
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May 31, 2019 56 mins
How do we mentor and train graduate students so we don't simply churn out intellectual clones? How do we help students with mental health issues? Should we set up a Kobayashi Maru ( for our students? In this episode, we talk about our experienes and philosophies with mentoring students.
Marginally Significant is hosted by: Andrew Smith @andrewrsmith (
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May 11, 2019 59 mins
Research designs and the required statistical analyses are getting more and more complicated. It is becoming increasingly common for researchers to consult with statisticians to analyze their data. This can create an issue where the lead researcher on a project does not know how to run the analysis they describe in their papers and presentations. In this episode we discuss whether the lead researcher has an obligation to know how t...
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May 4, 2019 48 mins
Evolutionary Psychology has been criticized as simply generating "just-so" stories—plausible explanations that lack evidence. In this episode, Smith and Monroe question whether evolutionary psychology is useful for generating predictions rather than simply generating post-hoc stories. Chris—the evolutionary psychology expert in the group—defends his area and articulates the instances where evo psych can help inform people's predict...
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People have attitudes they are aware of (explicit attitudes) but also supposidly have attitudes they don't know they have (implicit attitudes). Did you know you might love the Backstreet Boys, even though you think you hate them? This distinction between implicit and explicit attitudes has been extremely influential in Social Psychology and many other fields of social science. It has also led to the development of (mostly ineffecti...
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April 13, 2019 50 mins
We all have active research labs that meet on a regular basis. Typically, we discuss our current projects, train students on running our studies, and perhaps have students present their findings. However, can lab meetings be used for more than just discussing our own research? Are there practical skills or useful information we could cover during lab meetings that would be helpful for our students? In this episode, we talk about wh...
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April 7, 2019 49 mins
Don’t email us with questions about this episode until you’ve read the syllabus! Students often ask questions that could easily be answered if they read the syllabus. In this episode we talk about whether it is a realistic expectation that our students read the syllabus before asking questions, what information we put in a syllabus, whether our policies sometimes deviate from what the syllabus states, and if the syllabus does—or at...
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How do we teach students about the replication crisis in a way that is honest but also doesn’t completely undermine their trust in psychological science? In this episode, we describe what we’ve done in the past and discuss possible strategies we can use in the future.
Marginally Significant is hosted by: Andrew Smith @andrewrsmith ( Twila Wingrove @twilawingrove (
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March 23, 2019 37 mins
Welcome to our new, shorter episodes. In this episode, we discuss our experiences with teaching about political, religious, and other potentially sensitive topics in our classes. We talk about ways that we’ve handled these topics in the past, issues that have come up, and give suggestions about how to mitigate potential problems.
Marginally Significant is hosted by: Andrew Smith @andrewrsmith (
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In part 1 of this episode, Monroe rants about why we should publish fewer papers. He contends that there is too much mediocre research being published. Therefore, we should all choose to publish only the most meaningful and impactful research. In part 2 of the episode, we talk about using MTurk for participant recruitment and some of the issues with the platform. Monroe then tries to convince us that we should stop using MTurk and ...
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