Winter 2018 Seminar Series - ISR 1430

Joe Rodgers
Lois Autrey Betts Chair in Education and Human Development, Professor of Psychology and Human Development

Vanderbilt University

Psychology, Science, and Knowledge Construction: Broadening Perspectives from the Replication Crisis
Monday April 10, 2017 (3:30 PM - 5:00 PM)

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 pre-registration and full disclosure, and that replication efforts be based on multiple studies rather than 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 non-significant as well as statistically significant findings.

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