Why care about truly predictive research, besides descriptive and explanatory (personality) research?

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


The talk will be based on a recent paper that distinguishes between three main kinds of personality research: description, prediction and explanation (psyarxiv.com/hvk5p). The paper proposes some not-necessarily-intuitive ideas regarding the different aims and methodologies of these research kinds, and explains the tensions between them. In the talk, I will argue that explanatory research may be over-rated and has under-delivered, whereas descriptive research, while often under-appreciated, has been a triumph with yet more to come. Most importantly, I will argue that predictive research is often confused with other research kinds and under-trained, but may hold the greatest growth potential once we adopt a data-driven approach and machine learning principles, and forego the expectation that predictive models be theoretically intuitive and / or descriptively elegant. The talk is mostly about personality research, but the ideas apply to other psychology fields as well.
Period29 Apr 2021
Held atUniversity of Warwick, United Kingdom