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Report: That so many studies cannot be reproduced is a “crisis” in science

Afterword: Many scientists think of themselves as philosopher kings, far superior to those in the “basket of deplorables.” The deplorables have a hard time understanding why scientists are so special, and why they should vote as instructed by them. Read More ›

Researchers: Double down on theory like “natural selection” to solve replication crisis

At Nature Human Behaviour, we are told that the replication crisis is due to lack of rigid adherence to such a theory: Science, he explains, is about accumulating sets of observations that occur reliably—the Sun appears at different places in the sky depending on the season and time of day; finches have different shaped beaks depending on what they eat. “That’s the raw ingredients,” he says. “To make sense of it requires a framework to say, this is how all these different facts fit together, and this is why.” We explain these observations by developing theoretical models—of how the Earth rotates around the Sun on a tilted axis, of natural selection. Cathleen O’Grady, “The replication crisis may also be a Read More ›

Half of social science replication studies failed under near-ideal conditions

It’s becoming harder to ignore the stench: The drive recruited labs around the world to try to replicate the results of 28 classic and contemporary psychology experiments. Only half were reproduced successfully using a strict threshold for significance that was set at P < 0.0001 (the P value is a common test for judging the strength of scientific evidence). Brian Owens, “Replication failures in psychology not due to differences in study populations” at Nature So why did so many classic studies fail? The account in Nature doesn’t say but that won’t The Atlantic, stop people wondering: Despite the large sample sizes and the blessings of the original teams, the team failed to replicate half of the studies it focused on. It Read More ›

Enough of treating scientists like gods!

That’s a big part of the problem with peer review and replication failures. Don’t believe me? Get this: In response to massive failures in so-called social sciences: “The findings reinforce the roles that two inherent intuitions play in scientific decision-making: our drive to create a coherent narrative from new data regardless of its quality or relevance, and our inclination to seek patterns in data whether they exist or not,” he says. Dingledine also says the results speak to a bigger problem, something Kahneman famously described in an open letter to colleagues in 2012 as a “train wreck looming”: the widespread failure to replicate the findings of many important studies in the social sciences. That wreck may well be upon us. Paul Read More ›