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Frequently I see Psychology Today popping up on this site. I had an interesting exchange over at Bio where Bryan Krause shared the following [comments since deleted]:

I believe that [Psychology Today] at one point [...] was more reputable [,] but it's basically just a content farm now. Many of the posts are from people with degrees [,] but they basically just flaunt title letters in the way that we forbid here at SE, with implied 'expertise' even though their degree is in something completely unrelated (not to mention that its quite possible to be a crank and still have a degree).

Is this site generally considered to be a "content farm"? In particular, should Psychology Today be banned from being an acceptable source for an answer and banned as acceptable premise for questions? Importantly, could questions based on content from Psychology Today be closed as offtopic, because of being not framed in Psych&Neurosci?

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Concurring with @Fizz, I think Psych Today falls into the realm of non-peer reviewed online content. I don't see anything wrong with referring to it, per se.

Obviously, it's generally better to rely on primary journal articles in answers than non-peer reviewed online content.

I also think that this site is a bridge between science and what the wider public find interesting. So in that sense, Psych Today might bring up a topic that the wider public finds interesting, and that perhaps we can provide a more scientific answer to.

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It depends on the author of the actual content. While PT does have some sort of filter for authors (which frankly I only recall them exercising in one case, namely Kanazawa), it does include quite a few questionable blogs, in my opinion.

I think however that excluding questions (or answers) simply because they are based on PT is too drastic.

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Looking at the answers from @JeromyAnglim and @Fizz, their answers give a general feel that it is acceptable to reference Psychology Today within questions, but what about answers?

For questions

To summarise what @JeromyAnglim and @Fizz points out, excluding questions simply because they are based on PT is too drastic. Psychology Today falls into the realm of non-peer reviewed online content and there is nothing wrong with referring to it.

My point I would add is that it shows prior research which we require, and as @JeromyAnglim points out:

this site is a bridge between science and what the wider public find interesting. So in that sense, Psych Today might bring up a topic that the wider public finds interesting, and that perhaps we can provide a more scientific answer to.

I agree with these points when seeing a question using Psychology Today as a reference, but I have trouble accepting answers purely based on Psychology Today articles.

For answers

For the majority of cases, I have seen that Psychology Today articles contain no citations and references to corroborating studies they say exist.

This to me is unacceptable. We have a strict policy that all answers should be backed up with reliable references so that the answer can be independently verified, regardless of the reader's/answerer's background. How can anyone safely judge a non-referenced Psychology Today article as reliable?

The author may have a PhD or similar, but it doesn't stop that author claiming a study proves something when it doesn't, in order to imply they are justified in making an invalid statement. So in this sense I agree with @BryanKrause

This is where citations and references come into play. As an example, in the answer to Saying things to shock others, as pointed out by @Fizz in the comments

honestly that PT page sounds like bollocks. The ref it cites for "Excessive attention seeking is not a character flaw. It is a brain wiring response to early developmental trauma caused by neglect." is https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10831470 which I have no idea how someone can interpret like that; it's a study of trauma in adulthood etc.

In this case, the Psychology Today article is a very rare example which is cited and referenced, yet the referenced article does not actually prove their claim, making their article questionable.

How many other questionable articles are there in Psychology Today? Well that is open to debate and we cannot reliably answer that, but in my view, if an answer is given purely based on an uncited and unreferenced Psychology Today article, I would suggest to the answerer that they try and find a more reliable source for their claims as these articles cannot be relied upon to be correct and accurate.

If the Psychology Today article does contain citations and references, then I would hesitantly allow it but would not necessarily trust the "corroborating article" until I had chance to study it for accuracy.

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