I hate it when the popular press leaps on a “new scientific discovery,” and it turns out that the research hasn’t even been published yet. Such is the case with this research on brain patterns in political partisans (update: it’s also in the NYT — thanks for pointing that out, Coturnix). Drew Westen claims that members of both parties turn off the rational parts of their brains when presented with contradictions in their candidate’s reasoning. Can we believe Westen? Not when according to his own website, the article’s still being revised.
Why bother with all the talk about how to revise the peer review process, when the popular press touts “discoveries” before they’re even reviewed?