Quasi-revolution in psychology and reproducibility of extraordinary results

Artem Akopyan,The University of Western Ontario

Full paper: www.kon.org/urc/v12/akopyan2.html

Abstract This article deals with the issue of reliability in contemporary research. Specifically, the idea of purposeful replications of psychological studies is discussed. Next, the two main types of replication are presented and their pertinence to psychology is explained in connection with Darryl Bem’s (2011) notorious article that claimed overwhelming evidence of precognition. The reader is shown the potential shortcomings that might come about as a result of neglecting literal replications or misinterpreting the results obtained with the help of each form of replication Finally, some modern changes in research practices in psychology are mentioned and their significance in scientific testing and theorizing are briefly outlined.

Introduction The main purpose of scientific enquiry is the testing of intuitive suppositions. The potential of psychological science is enormous, and experimental research in psychology frequently produces remarkable results that lead to bold claims and new perspectives on phenomena of interest. In order for the potential of psychology to be fully realized, statistical results obtained by one researcher should be reproducible at will by any of his/her colleagues. Replication occurs when a psychologist, wanting to verify or falsify a theory or a concept obtained through informed study by a colleague, performs an experiment which is intended to be in many ways similar to the initial study; tasks, materials and procedures carried out as a part of this latter study may or may not be the same.

Read the full paper: www.kon.org/urc/v12/akopyan2.html