Psychologists do some soul-searching

Nature News Blog:

Psychologists are going through a period of intense self-reflection regarding the reliability of research in their field, fuelled by recently uncovered cases of fraud, failed attempts to replicate classic results, and calls from prominent psychologists to replicate key results in disputed fields.

The latest volley in this debate is a special issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, consisting of 18 papers that outline the scope of the so-called “replicability crisis”, and potential ways of fixing it.

Among the contributions, Matthew Makel from Duke University and two other colleagues have uncovered just how uncommon replications are in psychology, especially from independent groups. By scanning the top 100 psychology journals since 1900, and analysing 500 randomly selected articles more deeply, they showed that just 1% of publications are replications of earlier work. Of these, only 14% are direct replications that follow the original experimental recipes, while the others are conceptual replications that test related hypotheses using different methods and settings.

Read the whole story: Nature News Blog

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