Reconceptualizing replication as a sequence of different studies: A replication typology

Edit this page


In contrast to the truncated view that replications have only a little to offer beyond what is already known, we suggest a broader understanding of replications: We argue that replications are better conceptualized as a process of conducting consecutive studies that increasingly consider alternative explanations, critical contingencies, and real-world relevance. To reflect this understanding, we collected and summarized the existing literature on replications and combined it into a comprehensive overall typology that simplifies and restructures existing approaches. The resulting typology depicts how multiple, hierarchically structured replication studies guide the integration of laboratory and field research and advance theory. It can be applied to (a) evaluate a theory’s current status, (b) guide researchers’ decisions, (c) analyze and argue for the necessity of certain types of replication studies, and (d) assess the added value of a replication study at a given state of knowledge. We conclude with practical recommendations for different protagonists in the field (e.g., authors, reviewers, editors, and funding agencies). Together, our comprehensive typology and the related recommendations will contribute to an enhanced replication culture in social psychology and to a stronger real-world impact of the discipline.

Link to resource:

Type of resources: Primary Source, Reading

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

Primary user(s): Student

Subject area(s): Applied Science, Social Science

Language(s): English