From discovery to justification: Outline of an ideal research program in empirical psychology

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From discovery to justification : Outline of an ideal research program in empirical psychology. / Witte, Erich H.; Zenker, Frank.

In: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 8, No. OCT, 1847, 27.10.2017.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - From discovery to justification

T2 - Outline of an ideal research program in empirical psychology

AU - Witte, Erich H.

AU - Zenker, Frank

PY - 2017/10/27

Y1 - 2017/10/27

N2 - The gold standard for an empirical science is the replicability of its research results. But the estimated average replicability rate of key-effects that top-tier psychology journals report falls between 36 and 39% (objective vs. subjective rate; Open Science Collaboration, 2015). So the standard mode of applying null-hypothesis significance testing (NHST) fails to adequately separate stable from random effects. Therefore, NHST does not fully convince as a statistical inference strategy. We argue that the replicability crisis is "home-made" because more sophisticated strategies can deliver results the successful replication of which is sufficiently probable. Thus, we can overcome the replicability crisis by integrating empirical results into genuine research programs. Instead of continuing to narrowly evaluate only the stability of data against random fluctuations (discovery context), such programs evaluate rival hypotheses against stable data (justification context).

AB - The gold standard for an empirical science is the replicability of its research results. But the estimated average replicability rate of key-effects that top-tier psychology journals report falls between 36 and 39% (objective vs. subjective rate; Open Science Collaboration, 2015). So the standard mode of applying null-hypothesis significance testing (NHST) fails to adequately separate stable from random effects. Therefore, NHST does not fully convince as a statistical inference strategy. We argue that the replicability crisis is "home-made" because more sophisticated strategies can deliver results the successful replication of which is sufficiently probable. Thus, we can overcome the replicability crisis by integrating empirical results into genuine research programs. Instead of continuing to narrowly evaluate only the stability of data against random fluctuations (discovery context), such programs evaluate rival hypotheses against stable data (justification context).

KW - Confirmation

KW - Knowledge accumulation

KW - Meta-analysis

KW - Psi-hypothesis

KW - Replicability crisis

KW - Research programs

KW - Significance-test

KW - Test-power

U2 - 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01847

DO - 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01847

M3 - Article

C2 - 29163256

AN - SCOPUS:85032586300

VL - 8

JO - Frontiers in Psychology

JF - Frontiers in Psychology

SN - 1664-1078

IS - OCT

M1 - 1847

ER -