What’s going on with Psychology? There have been a number of reports about poorly conducted or completely fraudulent research in the field such as this one that appeared in the New York Times. Well, there’s bad research in all fields, but psychology, which has through its history struggled for scientific credibility, is particularly sensitive to this issue and many psychologists have come out with strong recommendations to make sure that our research is of the highest quality.
In this episode I look at how research can be conducted poorly and what to watch out for when you either conduct or read about the results of research.
Simmons, J.P., Nelson, L.D. & Simonsohn, U. (2011). False-Positive Psychology: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant.
Simmons et. al Requirements for Authors
- Authors should decide the rule for terminating data collection before data collection begins and report this rule in the article
- Authors must collect at least 20 observations per cell or else provide a compelling cost-of-data-collection justification
- Authors must list all variables collected in a study
- Authors must report all experimental conditions including failed manipulations
- If observations are eliminated, authors must also report what the statistical results are if those observations are included
- If an analysis includes a covariate authors must report the statistical results of the analysis without the covariate.
www.psychologytoday.comNovember 16, 2011 12:02:34 AM EST
The case of a Dutch psychologist who fabricated experiments out of whole cloth for at least a decade is shining a spotlight on systemic flaws in the reporting of psychological research.
Diederik Stapel, a well-known and widely published psychologist in the Netherlands, routinely falsified data and made up entire experiments, according to an investigative committee.