Confirmatory analyses

Definition: Part of the confirmatory-exploratory distinction (Wagenmakers et al., 2012), where confirmatory analyses refer to analyses that were set a priori and test existent hypotheses. The lack of this distinction within published research findings has been suggested to explain replicability issues and is suggested to be overcome through study preregistration which clearly distinguishes confirmatory from exploratory analyses. Other researchers have questioned these terms and recommended a replacement with ‘discovery-oriented’ and ‘theory-testing research’ (Oberauer & Lewandowsky, 2019; see also Szollosi & Donkin, 2019).

Related terms: Exploratory data analysis, Preregistration

References: Box (1976), Oberauer and Lewandowsky (2019), Szollosi and Donkin (2019), Tukey (1977), & Wagenmakers et al. (2012)

Drafted and Reviewed by: Jenny Terry, Mahmoud Elsherif, Eduardo Garcia-Garzon, Helena Hartmann, Mariella Paul, Charlotte R. Pennington, Timo Roettger, Lisa Spitzer

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