From: The Atlantic

Online Bettors Can Sniff Out Weak Psychology Studies

Psychologists are in the midst of an ongoing, difficult reckoning. Many believe that their field is experiencing a “reproducibility crisis,” because they’ve tried and failed to repeat experiments done by their peers. Even classic results—the stuff of textbooks and TED talks—have proven surprisingly hard to replicate, perhaps because they’re the results of poor methods and statistical tomfoolery. These problems have spawned a community of researchers dedicated to improving the practices of their field and forging a more reliable way of doing science.

These attempts at reform have met resistance. Critics have argued that the so-called crisis is nothing of the sort, and that researchers who have failed to repeat past experiments were variously incompetent, prejudiced, or acting in bad faith.

But if those critiques are correct, then why is it that scientists seem to be remarkably good at predicting which studies in psychology and other social sciences will replicate, and which will not?

Read the whole story: The Atlantic


The explanation of these surprising but important results is likely to be epistemological. Psychology Journals tend to emphasize for acceptance reliability of results, tests of significance, etc. They give much less importance to the constructs’ validity or the constructs’ intuitive-theoretical credibility. In contrast ordinary sophisticate people in real life tend to function as intuitive theoretical analysts (driven by plausible validity in terms of some empirical rationalism or constructivism). The “traders” sample is likely to have been reasoning in this constructivist/validity manner, whereas Science and Nature referees may tend to function primordially in an empiricist/reliability manner. Perhaps if Psychology journals want to improve predictability, they should change their criteria for paper acceptance and adopt a more a constructivist/validity epistemology rather than a predominantly empiricist one.

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