In the world of social psychology, the replication crisis is a real source of worries. The community is divided in two, and some of its members are at each other’s throats. The reason behind all of the disputes that have been stirring up the psychologists is the Reproductibility Project.
The initiative belongs to Brian Nosek, a psychologist at the Virginia University. The idea behind it was to take a random sample of 100 published psychological studies based on experiments and try to replicate the results that the researchers obtained.
To his surprise, and the awe of the entire community of psychologists, only a bit over a third of the replicated experiments gave the same results like the ones that were published.
These particular conclusions stirred the waters and created something that could be compared to a civil war. And as mentioned earlier, two sides vehemently oppose each other.
On one hand there are those who sided with Nosek and took his initiative for granted. These psychologists claim that there is a possibility that the most celebrated accomplishments in the field are nothing but lies, or are based on flawed research and incomplete experiments.
Then there are the others who just chose to deny the existence of a crisis. They hope that wishful thinking will just bury Nosek’s initiative, and the world of social psychology will be whole and untamed once again.
And the second camp is not filled by second-hand psychologists that want to see their work published. No, among the deniers there are great names, including that of Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University.
But unfortunately, no matter how much the deniers try to hide the elephant in the psychology field, it will still trample on the work of many published and accomplished scientists.
Because Nosek’s Reproductibility Project is not the only study that tried to replicate textbook experiments and failed to do some. This problem infected the community long ago. Nosek just decided to make it official.
The biggest problem is that, while there is no denying that things need to be revisited and fixed in many studies, they are not just dealing with some typos or publication biases.
The work that is contested sometimes cumulates a researcher’s entire life. The attacking side is not just questioning a study, but a whole person, or team of scientists that spend decades to reach those conclusions.
The replication crisis is a real source of worries in the social psychology domain, and there is no visible end to the dispute
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