A New Replication Norm for Psychology

  • LeBel E
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Abstract

In recent years, there has been a growing concern regarding the replicability of findings in psychology, including a mounting number of prominent findings that have failed to replicate via high-powered independent replication attempts. In the face of this replicability “crisis of confidence”, several initiatives have been implemented to increase the reliability of empirical findings. In the current article, I propose a new replication norm that aims to further boost the dependability of findings in psychology. Paralleling the extant social norm that researchers should peer review about three times as many articles that they themselves publish per year, the new replication norm states that researchers should aim to independently replicate important findings in their own research areas in proportion to the number of original studies they themselves publish per year (e.g., a 4:1 original-to-replication studies ratio). I argue this simple approach could significantly advance our science by increasing the reliability and cumulative nature of our empirical knowledge base, accelerating our theoretical understanding of psychological phenomena, instilling a focus on quality rather than quantity, and by facilitating our transformation toward a research culture where executing and reporting independent direct replications is viewed as an ordinary part of the research process. To help promote the new norm, I delineate (1) how each of the major constituencies of the research process (i.e., funders, journals, professional societies, departments, and individual researchers) can incentivize replications and promote the new norm and (2) any obstacles each constituency faces in supporting the new norm.

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APA

LeBel, E. P. (2015). A New Replication Norm for Psychology. Collabra, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.23

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