I'm not sure where to bring up this issue, but the CV meta seemed as good a place as any.
Recently I was reading this question about whether the banning of p-values and confidence intervals by the journal Basic and Applied Psychology was a good idea. As a research psychologist with a great interest in statistics, this issue is of great interest to me.
While reading the responses to these questions, I came across this comment, which was upvoted 10 times:
"Great idea. Using statistics just hides the unscientific nature of this field."
I understand that this comment was made in jest, but to me, this comment comes across as both off-topic and quite rude. Whether psychology is "scientific" has absolutely no bearing on whether banning the use of p-values and confidence intervals is good policy. However, what concerns me more is that many research psychologists use CV on a regular basis (including me). This sort of comment that makes a blanket statement about my field makes me feel unwelcome at CV, and I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case for other research psychologists. Moreover, the question on which the comment was made was highly upvoted, and the decision by BASP was highly publicized, meaning this comment is likely to be seen by other research psychologists with an interest in this issue. I think the comment should be removed.
I flagged the comment as rude, but my flag was declined.
I have used CV regularly for almost three years, and this is the first time I have had a problem of this kind, so I don't necessarily think that this incident reflects any deeper problems with CV. This incident does, however, touch a sore spot with me and with research psychologists generally.
So, my question to the community is, is this comment appropriate for CV, and if so, why?
This edit was added about a month after the original post, after I've had some time to think about the various responses
There has been a bit of discussion about why I found the original comment offensive. Psychology is defined as the "science of human behavior", so I hope it should be clear that comments that claim that psychology is not a science (and is more similar to an art than a science) might be viewed as offensive by people who call themselves "scientists of human behavior". If the comment was germane to the linked question, however, I would not have flagged it for deletion. I do not think a comment about the scientific status of psychology is germane to whether the policies of BASP are statistically valid.
There is, of course, another complicating factor to this particular incident, and that is that people are more prone to questioning the scientific validity of psychology and other behavioral sciences than they are of disciplines like physics. Let's take an extreme example -- for hundreds of years, inventors have submitted patents to the US Patent Office for perpetual motion machines, despite the fact that such a thing is completely impossible. Yet, despite the existence of these crackpot patents, few people would use the patents to say something like "These patents just reveal the unscientific nature of the field", whereas they might use the existence of parapsychology journals to say something like "These journals just reveal the unscientific nature of the field". Moreover, the perception that psychology has very real consequences for things like scientific funding, so this is not a trivial issue.
Anyway, going back to the original comment, I think that when I originally made this post, I misunderstood the overall purpose of comments. The StackExchange model encourages clean, on-topic questions and answers, and it appears that comments aren't held to the same standard. This is the main reason I flagged the comment for deletion rather than leave a comment of my own on the question (which is something I have now done).
Prior to this discussion, I also never really understood the purpose of the chat room, which is why I did not think to start a chat with Aksakal. This is something I may well do in the future.
Overall, as a result of this post, I have learned a lot about the various tools on CV, CV policy, and the different opinions of the moderators about how to handle requests for deletion. In the future, I may very well be more proactive with how I use comments on this site.