Replications in Psychology Research: How Often Do They Really Occur?

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Recent controversies in psychology have spurred conversations about the nature and quality of psychological research. One topic receiving substantial attention is the role of replication in psychological science. Using the complete publication history of the 100 psychology journals with the highest 5-year impact factors, the current article provides an overview of replications in psychological research since 1900. This investigation revealed that roughly 1.6% of all psychology publications used the term replication in text. A more thorough analysis of 500 randomly selected articles revealed that only 68% of articles using the term replication were actual replications, resulting in an overall replication rate of 1.07%. Contrary to previous findings in other fields, this study found that the majority of replications in psychology journals reported similar findings to their original studies (i.e., they were successful replications). However, replications were significantly less likely to be successful when there was no overlap in authorship between the original and replicating articles. Moreover, despite numerous systemic biases, the rate at which replications are being published has increased in recent decades.

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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

Language(s): English