Psychology is pretty much a tricky area, where everything gets relativized, subjective, labeled, filtered by perception and somewhat speculated. All the theories that define the psychological field have been questioned over time, as enlightened minds have tried to upgrade, update and complete this realm of understanding. A new study shows that psychology doesn’t equal the truth. In fact, most of the times, it is pretty much far from the holy grail of reality.
Maverick researchers have long argued that very much of what gets published in elite scientific journals is fundamentally questionable. The results might tell a great story based on strong arguments but the story cannot be reproduced when the experiments run a second time.
A team of fact checkers has published a new report which states that skepticism in the realm of psychology actually has a strong base. Over the course of four years, 270 researchers have attempted to entirely reproduce the results of 100 experiments that had been published in three prestigious psychology journals. It was if not hard, almost impossible for almost all cases. Researchers have succeeded only 39 times to prove all the theories that were promoting truth at a scientific level.
This speaks a lot about the murky waters of psychology, which seems to fail when it comes to providing facts instead of words which support theories. The irreproducible results of a giant number of studies has represented a serious issue in the science world over the last years. This happens due to a few curious instances of fraud. Some psychologists have even admitted that they have been fabricating data for years.
Even among studies which were successfully demonstrated, the general effect measured by the reproductions was only half as strong on average, as the original studies. Researchers have also designed a special website where the original authors whose studies failed to offer relevant and demonstrative results.
Many studies appear overnight, debating serious questions related to mental perception, brain behavior and social insights. The scientific community has historically placed very little emphasis on replication efforts. Editors at scientific journals would rather publish new theories than demonstrate the old ones. At the same time, the number of scientific online platforms willing to publish great amounts of research has literally exploded, which provides great opportunity for questionable studies to be offered publication.
Given the facts, some journals have started to revise publication policies. Now, researchers can use a new tool known as “registered reports”, in order to submit the design for a study or replication ahead of time.
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