Read the whole story: Nature More of our Members in the Media > A large-scale effort to replicate results in psychology research has rebuffed claims that failures to reproduce social-science findings might be down to differences in study populations.The drive recruited labs around the world to try to replicate the results of 28 classic and contemporary psychology experiments. Only half were reproduced successfully using a strict threshold for significance that was set at P < 0.0001 (the P value is a common test for judging the strength of scientific evidence).The initiative sampled populations from across six continents, and the team behind the effort says that its overall findings suggest that the culture or setting of the group of participants is not an important factor in whether results can be replicated.The reproducibility of research results — and psychology particularly — has come under scrutiny in recent years. Several efforts have tried to repeat published findings in a variety of fields, with mixed outcomes.The latest effort, called Many Labs 2, was led by psychologist Brian Nosek of the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Virginia. Nosek and his colleagues designed their project to address major criticisms of previous replication efforts — including questions about sampling and the assertion that research protocols might not be carried out properly in reproducibility attempts.Researchers obtained the original materials used in each experiment, and asked experts — in many cases, the original authors of the studies — to review their experimental protocols in advance. Sixty different labs in 36 countries and territories then redid each experiment, providing combined sample sizes that were, on average, 62 times larger than the original ones. The results of the effort are posted today as a preprint1 and are scheduled to be published in Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science.
Public health officials said cities can play a greater role in reducing heart disease deaths through better parks, public safety, land-use planning and public transit. Fielding said policies and programs that encourage exercise, improve diets, discourage smoking and improve access to health care and to inexpensive fruits and vegetables can greatly reduce the burden of heart disease and strokes. People need prettier streets, safer street crossings, more bike paths, more parks and more affordable housing built near jobs, schools and stores, according to the study. They also need more farmers markets, cheap produce retailers and healthier restaurants, as well as greater efforts to reduce smoking. Deaths from heart disease can be reduced “if you can make a place where people can walk without fear, where fruits and vegetables are sold at an affordable price and (where) having retail license laws” limit the sale of tobacco to minors, Fielding said. The study defined areas of economic hardship as those with crowded housing, more poverty, more joblessness, higher high school dropout rates, more dependents and lower median incomes. Epidemiologists also blamed stress factors associated with living in a poor and dangerous neighborhood to heart failure. “Over the years, it takes a great toll on the heart,” said study co-author Dr. Paul Simon, county director of health assessment and epidemiology. A 2004 study of state Assembly districts found that the northeast San Fernando Valley had the state’s highest rates of obesity and diabetes – two factors that can lead to heart failure. Los Angeles City Councilman Alex Padilla said much is being done to discourage tobacco sales to minors and to encourage exercise and better nutrition. Crime is down. Bike paths are being built. New laws regulate tobacco sales. Padilla, chairman of the Los Angeles Leadership Council of the American Diabetes Association, blames poor exercise habits in part on video games played at home. “The family that walked around the block has been replaced by the family sitting around the living room,” said Padilla, whose district includes the Northeast Valley and whose mother is diabetic. “The long-term solution really comes down to planning and land use: We either create incentives for people to drive everywhere, or create incentives for people to walk or ride a bicycle.” Dana Bartholomew, (818) 713-3730 [email protected] PREMATURE MORTALITY A recent study ranks Los Angeles County’s 133 cities and communities according to premature deaths from cardiovascular disease and the economic hardships facing their residents. The following shows the rankings of selected areas, with 1 reflecting the lowest death rate and least burdensome hardship: Community, Heart disease/Stroke, Economic hardship!ret! Agoura Hills 20 11 Burbank 41 47 Calabasas 8 9 Glendale 40 66 La Canada Flintridge 4 19 La Crescenta-Montrose 21 26 Lancaster 111 75 L.A. Council District 1 74 125 L.A. Council District 2 69 63 L.A. Council District 3 34 56 L.A. Council District 4 44 55 L.A. Council District 5 17 21 L.A. Council District 6 61 102 L.A. Council District 7 87 105 L.A. Council District 8 126 112 L.A. Council District 9 127 132 L.A. Council District 10 114 99 L.A. Council District 11 24 23 L.A. Council District 12 43 46 L.A. Council District 13 96 109 L.A. Council District 14 73 103 L.A. Council District 15 113 101 Palmdale 92 79 Quartz Hill 78 54 San Fernando 77 107 Santa Clarita 29 32 Westlake Village 1 13 SOURCE: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant “We don’t have a pill, we don’t have a vaccine for this problem. We have to go to the underlying cause.” The first-ever report, released last month by the Office of Health Assessment and Epidemiology, ranked 133 cities and communities based on levels of economic hardship and early deaths from heart disease and strokes. While Westlake Village had 255 years of potential life lost per 100,000 residents, the west side of Compton had 4,480 years lost per 100,000. The report blamed differences in death rates on smoking, physical inactivity, poor diets and other individual behavior. Researchers also pointed out differences in access to quality health care. But even after adjusting for those differences, Fielding said, there are other factors that point to a common denominator of economic hardship. Lack of exercise and unhealthy diets are among the factors causing poor residents in Los Angeles County to die sooner from heart attacks and strokes than their richer counterparts do, a groundbreaking study says. Los Angeles County health officials have determined there are five times the years lost to premature deaths in blue-collar Pacoima than in white-collar Westlake Village. In poor areas such as the west side of Compton, the mortality rate is far worse. “It’s a huge problem,” said Health Officer Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, whose county Department of Health Services issued the report. “There is a significant portion of inexplicable difference accounted for by economic hardship.