The Results Are In and Not Good for Psychology

Following up on an earlier story announcing the Reproducibility Project, which set out to reproduce the results from published studies in psychology, our own Elizabeth Grant alerts us that the project is now reporting only a scant 36 of 100 studies had replicable results. As the NY Times reports,

...a painstaking yearslong effort to reproduce 100 studies published in three leading psychology journals has found that more than half of the findings did not hold up when retested. The analysis was done by research psychologists, many of whom volunteered their time to double-check what they considered important work. Their conclusions, reported Thursday in the journal Science, have confirmed the worst fears of scientists who have long worried that the field needed a strong correction.

Note that this is not an accusation of scientific fraud, which is a serious problem in scientific publication generally. It does, however, raise important questions about the field of empirical psychology and the status of its 'results'.

Another Times article sympathetically reports on the mixed reaction by psychologists, and an Op-Ed piece by Lisa Feldman Barrett (Northeastern) defending empirical psychology so completely misses the point as to constitute exhibit A in the case for requiring The Philosophy and History of Science and Technology of all scientists, social and otherwise.

No votes yet