If we want to actually do a critique of peer review (and social sciences), this here would be a much better way to start:
This was an interesting article. Towards the end, they mention a paper that proves that listening to The Beatles' "When I'm 64" actually makes someone physically younger, all while using standard psychological study methods. The paper is an interesting read on how to inadvertently manipulate stats.
Also, because I'm a fan and wish they were still writing, here's The Last Psychiatrist when the ESP article first came out:
And so to say that it is a failure of peer review-- like they did with Wakefield-- also misses the point. Bem's peers are in absolutely no position to review this. This study is better reviewed by physicists. Bem himself makes an explicit case for quantum entanglement! So notwithstanding my own rants about peer review,
"Four reviewers made comments on the manuscript," [said the journal's editor] "and these are very trusted people."
Trusted though they may be, they are not experts in the field being studied.
All four decided that the paper met the journal's editorial standards, [the editor] added, even though "there was no mechanism by which we could understand the results."
Exactly. So you should have sent it to the physicists. You know, the ones who work a building over in the same university that you do. That was the whole reason for universities, right?
No, I'm a dummy. The purpose of universities is to suck up Stafford loan money. And the purpose of journals is to mark territory, more money in that, like a corporation that spins off a subsidiary. NO CROSS SCIENTIFIC DISCUSSION ALLOWED IN SCIENCE, EVER, EXCEPT IN SCIENCE, NATURE, AND THE POPULAR PRESS.