Letter/Observer Forum

A Challenge

In the pages of the APS Observer, psychology is consistently presented and referred to as a science. Undoubtedly, this assertion reflects the sincere belief of an overwhelming majority of APS’ members. However, the status of psychology as a science has never been put to an objective test.

The touchstone of any scientific discipline is the independent verifiability of obtained, published results. As applied to the status of psychology, this means that the results of studies published in psychological journals should prove independently replicable yielding identical, equivalent or, at least, congruent results. Whether this is true, in fact, has never been established. It is time to do so.

It is time for APS to seek support for and to conduct a large scale verification of the independent replicability of a randomly selected sample of studies appearing in peer-reviewed journals. Clearly, sponsorship of such an evaluation is in the best interests of all including fund granting agencies, whether public or private.

Felix Kopstein
APS Charter Member

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