Psychology, like most professions, holds many little secrets. They’re well known and usually accepted amongst the profession itself, but known to few “outsiders” or even journalists — whose job it is to not only report research findings, but put them into some sort of context.
One of those secrets is that most psychology research done in the U.S. is consistently done primarily on college students — specifically, undergraduate students taking a psychology course. It’s been this way for the better part of 50 years.
But are undergraduate college students studying at a U.S. university representative of the population in America? In the world? Can we honestly generalize from such un-representative samples and make broad claims about all human behavior (a trait of exaggeration fairly commonplace made by researchers in these kinds of studies).
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