Specification Curve Analysis

Definition: An analytic approach that consists of identifying, calculating, visualising and interpreting results (through inferential statistics) for all reasonable specifications for a particular research question (see Simonsohn et al. 2015). Specification curve analysis helps make transparent the influence of presumably arbitrary decisions during the scientific progress (e.g., experimental design, construct operationalization, statistical models or several of these) made by a researcher by comprehensively reporting all non-redundant, sensible tests of the research question. Voracek et al. (2019) suggest that SCA differs from multiverse analysis with regards to the graphical displays (a specification curve plot rather than a histogram and tile plot) and the use of inferential statistics to interpret findings.

Related terms: <a href='/glossary/multiverse-analysis/'>Multiverse analysis</a>, Research synthesis, <a href='/glossary/robustness-analyses/'>Robustness (analyses)</a>, Selective reporting, Vibration of effects

References: Simonsohn et al. (2015), Simonsohn (2020), & Voracek et al. (2019)

Drafted and Reviewed by: Bradley Baker, Tina B. Lonsdorf, Sam Parsons, Charlotte R. Pennington

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