A PRANK ON PSYCHOLOGY THAT FOLLOWED THE SOKAL HOAX. I posted on the Sokal Hoax here. In 1996 Alan Sokal submitted to a prominent journal of cultural studies an article entitled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.” The article was meant to make fun of current trends in critical theory and was filled with jargon. (Sample quote from Sokal’s paper: “Physical ‘reality,’ no less than social ‘reality,’ is at bottom a social and linguistic construct”). The article was published, and then Sokal revealed that it was a practical joke.
This article by Jerry Adler at the Pacific Standard website compares a prank on psychology to the Sokal Hoax. Adler says: “In 2011, a psychologist named Joseph P. Simmons and two colleagues set out to use real experimental data to prove an impossible hypothesis….The hypothesis: that listening to The Beatles’ ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ makes people younger.”
How did Simmons and his colleagues do this?