Kevin Hogan

International Speaker

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On the podcast yesterday you cited a German research team concluded that “1 in 5” scientific papers may contain faked data. How do you know what to believe or not believe? Is science just another religion where you don’t know which one might be right but certainly at least 9 of the 10 are wrong?
It’s been a problem that has been getting much worse in recent years. The trend as I said on the podcast is not just scientific research but also in psychological research where conclusions are replicable by other researchers to the tune of 60% – 67% of all papers. I am going to quote liberally from Jeffrey Brainard of  who care about integrity in the world of science have found.

When neuropsychologist Bernhard Sabe Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg and editor-in-chief of Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience did the hard work on this. He put his new fake-paper detector to work. After screening some 5000 papers, he estimates up to 34% of neuroscience papers published in 2020 were likely made up or plagiarized; in medicine, the figure was 24%. Both numbers, which he and colleagues report in a medRxiv preprint posted on 8 May, are well above levels they calculated for 2010—and far larger than the 2% baseline estimated in a 2022 publishers’ group report.

His findings underscore what was widely suspected: Many scientific manuscripts are from paper mills—secretive businesses that allow researchers to pad their publication records by paying for fake papers or undeserved authorship.

Dorothy Bishop an Oxford psych  who studies fraudulent publishing practice.  said in a May 2nd announcement from the publisher Hindawi underlined the threat: It shut down four of its journals said that “Paper mills have made a fortune by basically attacking a system that has had no idea how to cope with this stuff,”   These four journals have been “heavily compromised” by articles from paper mills.

Sabel’s tool relies on just two indicators—authors who use private, noninstitutional email addresses, and those who list an affiliation with a hospital. It isn’t a perfect solution, because of a high false-positive rate. Other developers of fake-paper detectors, who often reveal little about how their tools work, contend with similar issues.

Still, the detectors raise hopes for gaining the advantage over paper mills, which churn out bogus manuscripts containing text, data, and images partly or wholly plagiarized or fabricated, often massaged by ghost writers. Some papers are endorsed by unrigorous reviewers solicited by the authors. Such manuscripts threaten to corrupt the scientific literature, misleading readers and potentially distorting systematic reviews. The recent advent of artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT has amplified the concern.

(Two more related questions on scamming your future from those we used to trust the most…and why the sharpest minds don’t like it at all. You can read them below.)

Q. Dr. Hogan, You mentioned in the podcast that PreManipulation (new book) means the demand or desire to be persuaded. You glossed over it. Can you go into a little more detail for me?

People want to be told what to do, whether they have done a good job, how pretty they look, be reassured they made the right decision, be certain their neighborhood will approve, their friends on Instagram will think they made a GOOD CHOICE, etc.  Everyone wants the doctor to treat them in a way that gives them the best chance to live and live with a quality life. You ask the server for their advice on food more often.

All of this has been exacerbated because of social media. Look at your Instagram for a minute. You can “heart” someone’s post/picture/video. AND/OR you can comment on it.  AND/OR you can share it.  That is need for lots of 100% POSITIVE feedback.

That mirrors how parents are raising their kids in 2023. ALWAYS be HYPER-SENSITIVE to their race, their religion, their gender or gender choice. 

I will write an article on how to talk with people who aren’t exactly like you in every way, and why you sure shouldn’t feel badly about what color, sex, religion, income level you were born into, because YOU had nothing to do with it.

I propose being genuinely aware and empathetic of all the above and it needs to show in communication. If it doesn’t you work on it.

Today the majority of psychologists only reinforce positive behaviors. But that is not how the human race has grown. From a religious or evolutionary perspective, pleasure and pain, “positive” AND “negative” reinforcement have always been necessary to insure SURVIVAL of human kind.

When you hear someone tell you otherwise, ask them why the IQ of the average American is going DOWN. Ask them WHY they aren’t making more than what they did last year (adjusted for inflation). ASK why Asians in the U.S. have dramatically increased their incomes and IQ’s. Why?

Diversity makes life rich. Understanding it makes it meaningful. Apologizing for it is ridiculous.

Q. Hey Kev, the market rallied the first half of the year. What’s your latest prediction?

A.  Predicting the stock market is difficult at best. People are looking for reasons for the market to go up. I can give you a bunch. For example, a good first half of the year following a big down year (which is the case in July 2023) predicts the market will finish even higher from today. This is true in 3/4 of similar situations. Unfortunately there weren’t that many similar situations in the last century. Small sample size makes for lousy data.

On the other hand, you can also note that the 2 year US treasury bond is paying a LOT more than the 10 year treasury bond. That fact has predicted down turns in the markets AND recessions 100% of the time since 1980. All 7 of them… Small sample size makes for lousy data.

I don’t see any real reason for the markets to be higher vs. lower at the end of SEPTEMBER (60%) vs. at the end of 2023. There’s simply less money in the system today than there was one year ago (20 Trillion vs. 19 Trillion). Less money in the system and rising short rates appears to make for a down turn. But who knows. Something could happen in the world that is great that people could latch onto. I’ll say it’s down from July 8, 2023. I also wouldn’t bet the farm or much at all. I’d say it’s about a 55% chance my forecast will turn out to be correct.

Kev, I met you in Warsaw. Your video on the 42 Laws of Persuasion is  awesome! How do you determine what a law is vs. a tactic or strategy. How could there be 42 laws when there were only 9 when you started?

There are now 61 catalogued.

A law is a predictable, reliable, measurable action that causes a behavioral result across culture and countries. There is no behavior that always comes from the stimulus but you can predict the likely behavior from a stimulus. When this is in play, you have a law. A law is a small chunk of influence. The Law of Psychological Distance is predictable, verifiable and is effective across cultures but it is not a tactic or strategy.

A tactic is part of a larger strategy to accomplish an end result. In influence a tactic could be an attempt at disarming disruption, reducing resistance through a specific technique. It’s not a law. It’s not going to be effective 80% of the time. But it will be valuable to the strategy in place, 1/4 – 3/4 of the time. The Post It Note  is a great tactical tool.

A strategy is a complete game plan. Large strategies are often made up of smaller strategies. Strategies use plenty of Laws of Persuasion and all kinds of tactics.

Persuasion and consumer research has expanded. I’ve simply found about 60 laws that seem to run most contexts of influence. 42 is where I was at in July when I created your video. The downside is it’s not the 10 Commandments any longer. Now we can successfully influence in almost any situation you can imagine.

Q. Hey Kev, why do you still use completely text emails? How about a little color to spice things up a bit?!

A. We’ll see. I really like my audience. Smart, savvy and on average they aren’t too concerned about what something looks like but how much of an impact it will have on their life. Obviously delivery of a package means you can control for how it’s delivered and what the package looks like. The question is does it matter? I’m sure I’ll decide to test this at some point again this year.

Q. Kevin, at your presentation you said that people lie an average of 3 times every 15 minutes. You said women more often tell lies to stop from hurting another person and men to make themselves look better. This means someone is lying 12 times an hour. Is that really possible?

A. Not 12 times in an hour, rather, 12 times per hour in conversation. Realize that most lies are not intended to harm or deceive, coming from most people.  A lie is simply an intentional misrepresentation of reality as the other person sees it. Mistakes aren’t lies. Saying you lifted 400 pounds when you lifted 100 is a lie but it isn’t likely that data point is very important in the context of a conversation.  Saying, “well you’re smart” or “well you’ve always been good with people,” if not true and you know it, that would be a lie but you could argue it would be a productive misrepresentation for the person, moving forward.  The concept of a lie is complex and not black and white.

Q. Hey Kev, I read that body weight is mostly related to genes. True?

A. You are on the right track. Body weight is about 1/2 genes, 1/2 behavior.
Here’s the catch… just because a person is predisposed to eat
more doesn’t mean they can’t STOP eating more. We tested our
hypnosis program on hundreds and hundreds of people in three
U.S. cities, with consistent results in all three.

There is an illusion that because something is predisposed by genes
that it makes it out of your control. That is simply not true.
The color of your eyes? Sure. But most things good and bad that
are predisposed by genes can absolutely be controlled.

You can watch with your eyes as you go down the hallways of
European airports or sit next to European citizens. They are simply
a lot thinner on average than Americans and the British.

This is a genetic issue as well. Humans are wired to KEEP EATING
to have stored fat in case food becomes scarce. It was a survival
mechanism for millions of years. One that people in most countries
don’t need any more.

Dear Kevin, In your Body Language Course you give hundreds of actionable tips of which you break two of them yourself. Can you explain why you have a beard when “facial hair can reduce sales,” and “avoid pointing (your index finger) at all costs.”

Great questions. First the facial hair. There is a ton of data
that shows men with more facial hair make fewer sales, less money
and are less persuasive. So the tip doesn’t change. I have
experimented with numerous ways to have my hair cut and tested
out the rugged look, the clean shaven look, the goatee with
shorter beard, you name it.

My bite is (jaw) off by about 1/4 of an inch and has been since
college. Surgery to correct the bite would be a gamble
so I decided to see if I could even get away with looking
ok with a goatee or an unshaven look without growing a
full beard. These strategies both cause the facial structure
to appear more symmetrical. A symmetrical face and especially
the jaw, translates to better everything. Facial hair obviously
doesn’t correct the bite but it makes it very difficult to see.
There’s that secret!

Note: If I were doing direct sales, I’d be instantly clean shaven
with no facial hair at all.

Pointing! This is another gesture that is packed with emotional
impact. As a rule pointing can be deadly to communication.

However, when I’m in front of the audience, I might see someone
I recognize (or know) and simply point at them saying something,
like “that guy right there? One of the smartest/best/etc.
people in the world. In a case like this the pendulum sways the
other direction to strong positive.

But, because most people point at people and the content and
context are negative, they often are perceived by the person
across from them as critical, contemptuous and less believable.

Therefore the rule stands. In 85% of situations, the pointed
finger does you no good and possibly a lot of harm.

Kevin, How can people not be swayed by a BS piece of research? How do I not become a Fake News Supplier?

First, we have to eliminate the phrase “Fake News” because it just makes people look stupid. Communicate with more precision.

Next, don’t have a “point of view to prove.” Science doesn’t prove very many things in life. It provides evidence for a proposed idea or will disprove it. For example. It’s relatively easy to agree with the weather this week around the world. The globe experienced the hottest high temperatures in 45 years this week on four different days. A scientist with no agenda reports the FACTS of what was found. It was ridiculously hot.

Second, don’t be quick to interpret the reported data and what it means. For me, I would bet the farm that the measured temp this week is accurate. That’s a conclusion I’ve reached. I’d bet on it.

But as a rule, you should NOT draw conclusions from conclusions. Weather is a political hot button like abortion, affirmative action, right to bear arms, etc.  So a scientist won’t say, “so we have to cool the earth before we burn up,” or “this proves global warming is real.”  What is does show is it as the hottest four days in 45 years.  The politics of the matter is very different. Having data like this is important. Who knows, maybe someone could figure out a way to change the toast trend which has been upward for about 25 years, but that doesn’t mean it could be implemented no matter how accurate the solution might be.

Politicians don’t know any more about climate change and it’s ramifications than the rest of us experience or see in our back yard. We guess. That’s all. People who have reached conclusions on 45 years of data are living in a super small sample size bubble.

 Trying to convince someone to believe something about this experience (aside from the fact it’s been a MUCH warmer 25 years) are manipulating data to fit a political belief. Both side of politicians pretend they have a clue. They don’t. No one know whether the solution to hotter weather and it’s real problems that it has caused is fixable, or whether the trend won’t flip to cooler for the next 25 years. I don’t know anything except my electric bill is outrageous and my lawn is getting gray before it’s time.

Dr. Hogan, you talked about sifting out the B.S. in many psychology studies, “research” and papers at length because those studies influence your work a great deal.

Frankly it’s mentally painful to read as many papers as I do and then have to flip a metaphorical coin to accept the conclusions or not.

Here’s what I do.

I read the paper and see if ALL the hypotheses are shown to be correct. Sadly, academics don’t get published to report the status quo. They are pressured to get published but only when they have something new to say. Something new generally contradicts the status quo and improves a papers chance of getting published.

Getting published is about prestige to the individuals, universities, market research companies, sponsoring corps, who wrote the paper, the companies that benefit or are likely to be harmed by the paper. And you have to realize that even with perfect data, papers in psychology will only be correct 95% of the time because it’s very hard to measure what people are thinking and reporting. Behavior is much easier and more valuable to observe and catalog than getting people to tell you their feelings. As I’ve said for years, Self report is only helpful in a small percentage of experiments in psychology.

Another example of self report: “Why did you buy this car?” (The person has no idea in real life. There is no real answer to that kind of a question.)

Another example of self report: “Will you buy a new phone next year? (Again, they have little or no idea, though just answering that question, even with a “no” does indeed increase the chances of it happening by a few points.)

Another example of self report: “Why are you the religion you are?” (They have almost no clue.)

Another example of self report: “What caused you to make the decision/choice you did?” (Again people rarely have any idea why they do what they do.)

Another example of self report: “Was the operation a success?” (You really don’t know. It’s somewhere between maybe and probably in most cases that aren’t life or death, and even then it’s risky to answer yes to this question.)

It’s insane to believe all 10 hypotheses (proposed ideas) are correct in a paper reporting an experiment or study. To believe all 20 papers in this months Journal of Consumer Reports have all the hypotheses supported, in all the papers is next to impossible.

To be perfectly clear, some self report IS LEGIT.  If you’re doing a blind taste test about which wine is tastes best or whether Pepsi is better than Coke when blind tested then self report is a useful factor. But when self report is about a person’s feelings which vary from moment to moment without a reason to be changing that actually matters in life, you don’t need to put a lot of stock into the self report.

Researchers are given a format to report their findings. When you are given a format it’s a lot easier to cheat than do the work with complete honesty.  I didn’t read a paper in 2022 that had any hypothesis that was not supported by the results of the experiment. It’s statistically unlikely so scientists/psychologists, MUST BE REWARDING to report a FAIL or NEGATIVE FINDING. They need to be applauded and treated with as much appreciation as those who find a positive result.

Here’s a final thought, if you hear anyone say, “They cheated” whether a referee in football, or the Patriots, or your spouse” you have just put yourself in the category of stupid or in polite terms, “Inaccurate conclusion is possible here.” A person is entitled to their opinion. Really. But that doesn’t make it true, accurate, real or the best and most likely answer. But it MIGHT BE.

Kev, referencing the podcast, are you saying that science is becoming a BS subject? What about psychology?

I’m VERY glad you asked.  When some people point out a problem, they take the problem, distort it, generalize it or delete it. There is no problem with science or psychology.  No. You need to be able to think as scientists are trained to think. Science is critical. Critical thinking is more than super important. Science eliminates the wrong answers but gives a theory (a likely fact, but not absolute truth) of everything else.

Theory is incredibly important in every day life. You can’t live if you don’t have a theory of living. If you don’t think scientifically, you can’t understand the Bible, you can’t have an intelligent conversation, solve problems, or show love to others in a way they will understand it. Psychology research has been in trouble for a couple decades.

It’s so easy to make your political point in a psych paper that you have to discipline yourself to be straight with the world. If the rules of how research is reported, and the value of always being right in making your point, then you have a lousy researcher(s).  That said, even with 60% of studies being replicable, 40% are currently not accurate and meaningful. Obviously you don’t throw out the 46%.

It’s not THAT hard to figure out if research or a paper is garbage. The first question is “who paid for this?” The second question is “does this sound like they are trying to support a political position or are they trying to find out the truth about what’s happening in a life or the world?  Were ALL the hypotheses shown to be correct in the paper?”

Those are three STARTING points. There are a lot more questions to ask. Those three alone don’t mean a study or piece of research is junk. It just means tread carefully but don’t shoot until you have a lot more information.

Q.  Kevin, why do you dislike phones so much?

Phones are a disaster. Most people are literally addicted to
their phone. They also kill business deals at increasing
rates. And what happens?

a) People find it very difficult to concentrate the closer their
phone is to them.

b) They often can’t think as clearly, creatively or with
presence because of the phone’s proximity.

c) When the phone is out of site, it’s still not out of mind
because someone else’s phone buzzing is an instant trigger to
all the thoughts and feelings that you don’t want the person
experiencing in a conversation.

d) Smart phone use is correlated to depression, anxiety, higher
levels of stress, lower income, increased narcissism,  poor
work performance. I could go on.

My phone is in my pocket (always off) or ideally in some woman’s purse where I could never find it. I don’t like the phone. I don’t
answer it. I don’t return calls. I don’t like texting. I prefer
not to message in 98% of life situations. I have no curiosity as to
who is calling. My greatest use for my phone is checking on
email to see if I need to get back to a client or deal with
critical family issues which there have been a couple of major
problems this year. There is one invaluable use of the phone
and that is google maps and anything related to how to get
from here to there. In that situation the phone has saved
hours of life.

That said, When I go to my phone it means
I’m working on something I can’t control and aside from music,
it’s not valuable to me on most days of the year.


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