Psychology, Science, and Knowledge Construction: Broadening Perspectives from the Replication Crisis

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Psychology advances knowledge by testing statistical hypotheses using empirical observations and data. The expectation is that most statistically significant findings can be replicated in new data and in new laboratories, but in practice many findings have replicated less often than expected, leading to claims of a replication crisis. We review recent methodological literature on questionable research practices, meta-analysis, and power analysis to explain the apparently high rates of failure to replicate. Psychologists can improve research practices to advance knowledge in ways that improve replicability. We recommend that researchers adopt open science conventions of preregi-stration and full disclosure and that replication efforts be based on multiple studies rather than on a single replication attempt. We call for more sophisticated power analyses, careful consideration of the various influences on effect sizes, and more complete disclosure of nonsignificant as well as statistically significant findings.

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Type of resources: Primary Source, Reading, Paper

Education level(s): College / Upper Division (Undergraduates)

Primary user(s): Student

Subject area(s): Applied Science, Social Science

Language(s): English