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Replication crisis: Neuroskeptic on foxes guarding the henhouse

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From Neuroskeptic at Discover:

In a long and interesting article over at Edge, social neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman discusses (amongst other things) the ‘replication crisis’ in his field.

Lieberman wants replictors to be chosen from among those who have

done successful work in that area previously — because if they haven’t shown that they can successfully get other priming effects, or other embodied cognition effects, how do I know that they can do this?

Neuroskeptic responds,

… there’s something odd about the idea that ones qualifications should include a track record in finding positive results in the field in question. That seems to be putting the cart before the horse. I agree that replicators should have the necessary technical skills, but I question whether generating positive (as opposed to negative) results can be used as a proxy for being skilled.

That would make sense if we assume that our basic psychological theory (e.g. of social priming) is valid, and therefore that at least some of our effects are real and replicable. More.

As Neuroskeptic points out, that’s precisely what’s under discussion, not a position one can assume when choosing replicators.

Well, at least Michael Shermer isn’t still waiting for the hundredth shoe to drop …

See also: Replication as key science reform?

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