6

At present, I think the stack exchange model provides the best infrastructure for building a high-quality question and answer site. In general, I think that if people on the Internet who are looking for a place to ask quality scientific questions on psychology and cognitive science, become aware of the site, they'll tend to see the benefits.

So with that in mind and following on from this previous post about site promotion, I was curious to know what sites, discussion lists, etc, already exist for asking scientific questions about psychology and cognitive science.

  • What else is out there?
  • What's the level of activity?
  • What kind of questions get asked? What type of answers get provided?

A few that I'm aware of:

  • Quora: cognitive science, psychology
    • There's around 9,000 people following the psychology tag
    • In general, there seems to be a wide variety of questions; many, but not all, would be closed on this site for various grounds (unclear, vague, discussion);
  • Reddit: cogsci, psychology, academicpsychology
    • Mixes links with discussion posts; discussion posts are different to question and answer posts
    • Regulation occurs largely through votes
    • The main psychology and cogsci subreddits have a huge number of followers (e.g., 40,000+), whereas academicpsychology has around 1,500
  • Biology stack exchange contain many of excellent cognitive science, neuroscience and human neuro-physiology questions. – Always Confused Sep 10 at 16:56
3

I did a little more googling and found.

http://thepsychologyforum.com/community/

  • It states that it has 2000 threads, 5000 posts, and 7000 users. There are forums organised under various headings. It's a typical discussion forum (e.g., mixed quality posts and answers, difficult to find best answers to questions, mixture of discussion and question-and-answers).

forums.studentdoctor.net

  • Standard discussion forum with around 200 threads generally related to students wanting to get into PhD programs.

thestudentroom.co.uk - psychology

  • A psychology discussion forum with perhaps around 1000 questions related to psychology, typically course and university selection related.

kurzweilai.net cognitive science

  • Cognitive science and neuroscience discussion list within a broader listing http://www.kurzweilai.net/forums/ The tone of this site is generally scientific. There are a few posts per week.

Yahoo Answers - Psychology

  • Around 3000 questions; Typical questions "Really stressed, I feel like everything is going terrible?" and "What are 5 important lessons to learn in life?"

UPDATE

So, what does this all mean?

  • There's a lot of interest in posting psychology and cognitive science questions on the internet
  • Some of the people asking questions on these sites would be interested in the stack exchange format; they'll often get better answers; and experts could feel a greater sense of contribution from stack exchange because of (a) recognition; (b) knowledge of the way that stack exchange facilitates the creation of Internet artefacts that can readily be consumed in the future; (c) greater sense of community.
  • There are also a lot of people asking questions on psychology sites who are working through psychological problems. While these sometimes might be on topic on this site, a lot of the time, they would be too specific, and not scientific enough (in my opinion) for this site.
  • The existing environment for question and answer sites is pretty poor; there are some good questions and good answers out there; However, the discussion forum infrastructure is just so far behind the stack exchange model in terms of features. Quora is better than the discussion forums, but it is still a long way behind the Stack Exchange model.
  • There is a lot of discussion out there which is just different to the stack exchange model: These include questions that wouldn't be permitted on this site, but that people still want to ask (e.g., asking questions about personal problems; asking very broad, open ended questions; posting links and seeking discussion, etc).
  • I agree that you have to be careful in how you promote the stack exchange model in other forums. Ideally it would be good to inform people on other forums who might be interested in being involved in a more feature rich site. However, I'm not quite sure about how that can be done both effectively and in a respectful way (i.e., without spamming).
  • So the message is ... "let's start spamming them"? :) – Steven Jeuris Feb 2 '12 at 11:45
  • @StevenJeuris I'd say more "Lets see what we can learn from them and can we politely invite some of their members to join our community"... I know from experience that people can get... upset... if you push Stack Exchange sites too hard :-) – Josh Feb 2 '12 at 12:46
  • okay, I've added a little more about what I think this all means. And just to be clear, I'm definitely not promoting spamming other communities, even if I think there are many people out there who are both unaware of cogsci.se and would appreciate the site. – Jeromy Anglim Feb 2 '12 at 22:10
  • The simple idea of sharing questions and answers that would interest the target site seems like a reasonable idea: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/08/a-recipe-to-promote-your-site – Jeromy Anglim Feb 3 '12 at 7:32
2

A quick Google search reveals Psychology - Forum. Com which according to the stats at the bottom has

16997 Posts in 2220 Topics by 1918 Members

Glancing at their main page, I see 23 topics under "Neuroscience", including some questions that might be on-topic for this site, for example Is it possible to switch between introversion and extroversion?.

I also see psychforums.com, but I'm not clear what the heck that site is about, it's a total mess in my opinion...

  • Thanks. I just had a look. psychforums.com seems like a site where people with a psychological disorder can discuss and get informal advice about their disorder. psychology-forum.com also seems to have a lot of posts along the lines of discussing a personal situation and seeking advice, but there is the occasional scientific question. – Jeromy Anglim Feb 1 '12 at 23:53

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