In DepthReproducibility

Many psychology papers fail replication test

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Science  28 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6251, pp. 910-911
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6251.910

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The largest effort yet to replicate psychology studies has yielded both good and bad news. On the down side, of the 100 prominent papers analyzed, only 39% could be replicated unambiguously, as a group of 270 researchers describes on page 943. On the up side, despite the sobering results, the effort seems to have drawn little of the animosity that greeted a similar replication effort last year. This time around, even some of the original authors see the replications as a useful addition to their own research. "This is how science works," says Joshua Correll, a psychologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and one of the authors whose results could not be replicated. "How else will we converge on the truth? Really, the surprising thing is that this kind of systematic attempt at replication is not more common." That's encouraging news to Brian Nosek, a psychologist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville who led the mass replication effort, which began in 2011 with the goal of putting psychological science on more rigorous experimental footing.