On feimineach: On that reproducibility in psychology study
The feministphilosophers take on the recent claim from a study published in Science (Reproducibility in Psychology – Nosek et al, 2015) that some research in psychology is not replicable (i.e. the same findings are not found over repeated, similar investigations) and, therefore, invalid. At least that’s the way it’s being reported in articles such as this on Slate which states that,
If it feels like you can find a study to back up any harebrained idea these days, you actually might be right, a new study says. On Thursday we, as humans, arrived at the zenith of irony when a study of studies was published and found—you guessed it—many studies were totally full of it, and overstated their findings. To be fair, the Reproducibility Project investigation, led by a University of Virginia psychologist did not set out to debunk every study in every discipline and only dealt with psychological-based studies published in three leading journals. The critique focused on social science research, so this does not necessarily disprove either of the studies you just read saying seven cups of coffee a day will, and will not, make you live longer.
It’s a bit harsh, I know.
There are two related points to be made here. For me, the Science study’s claims that many psychology research studies are not as valid as first reported is worrying for the research community. Well, no, it’s rather the damning coverage from Slate and the like that is most damaging because most readers will not (and why should they, I suppose) wade through the sensationalist headline and claims. Also, most people will not consider what we need or want research to do.