commotion around replications may do more harm than good.
University of Virginia psychology professor Timothy Wilson,
PhD, for example, says he is that worried the movement has put
too much emphasis on false positives.
“When an effect fails to replicate, the spotlight of suspicion
shines on the original study and the authors who conducted
it,” Wilson says. “But why should we assume that a failure
to replicate is ‘truer’ than the original study? Shouldn’t the
spotlight shine as brightly on the replicators, with a close
examination of their research practices, in case they have
obtained a false negative?”
While much of the work to promote the reproducibility of
scientific studies has only just begun, the field’s enthusiasm —
particularly among early career psychologists — is strong, says
Brian Nosek, PhD, the University of Virginia social psychologist
who directs the Center for Open Science, which aims to increase
openness, integrity and reproducibility of scientific research.
Last year, the center received $10 million in grant money from
several private foundations, including the Laura and John
Arnold Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the
John Templeton Foundation, to support its mission.
“Many people in their early career seem willing to challenge
the status quo and find a way to do this better,” says Nosek.
Among APA’s replicability projects is one that invites
researchers to submit replication studies for its Journal of
Experimental Psychology: General and Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology. These journals encourage authors to submit
proposals for replication plans before data collection begins and
are interested in replication studies with an interdisciplinary
appeal, says JEP: General editor Isabel Gauthier, PhD. Although
replication articles will be published only online, the abstracts
will go in the print journal.
Other APA journals, including the Psychology of Aesthetics,
Creativity, and the Arts, have published special issues on
replication. And APA’s Archives of Scientific Psychology — the
association’s first open-access, open-methods, collaborative-data-sharing journal — published its first articles last summer.
A top goal of Archives of Scientific Psychology is to increase the
number of replication studies by making it easier for researchers
to access one another’s full methods and data sets.
APA divisions are also advancing data sharing and
replication. In its January issue of Personality and Social