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Four Bad Habits of Modern Psychologists

Department of Psychology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
Department of Psychology, University of Auckland, Auckland 2120, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Behav. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 53;
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 August 2017 / Published: 14 August 2017
Four data sets from studies included in the Reproducibility Project were re-analyzed to demonstrate a number of flawed research practices (i.e., “bad habits”) of modern psychology. Three of the four studies were successfully replicated, but re-analysis showed that in one study most of the participants responded in a manner inconsistent with the researchers’ theoretical model. In the second study, the replicated effect was shown to be an experimental confound, and in the third study the replicated statistical effect was shown to be entirely trivial. The fourth study was an unsuccessful replication, yet re-analysis of the data showed that questioning the common assumptions of modern psychological measurement can lead to novel techniques of data analysis and potentially interesting findings missed by traditional methods of analysis. Considered together, these new analyses show that while it is true replication is a key feature of science, causal inference, modeling, and measurement are equally important and perhaps more fundamental to obtaining truly scientific knowledge of the natural world. It would therefore be prudent for psychologists to confront the limitations and flaws in their current analytical methods and research practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: inference; NHST; modeling; measurement; replication; Observation Oriented Modeling inference; NHST; modeling; measurement; replication; Observation Oriented Modeling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Grice, J.; Barrett, P.; Cota, L.; Felix, C.; Taylor, Z.; Garner, S.; Medellin, E.; Vest, A. Four Bad Habits of Modern Psychologists. Behav. Sci. 2017, 7, 53.

AMA Style

Grice J, Barrett P, Cota L, Felix C, Taylor Z, Garner S, Medellin E, Vest A. Four Bad Habits of Modern Psychologists. Behavioral Sciences. 2017; 7(3):53.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Grice, James, Paul Barrett, Lisa Cota, Crystal Felix, Zachery Taylor, Samantha Garner, Eliwid Medellin, and Adam Vest. 2017. "Four Bad Habits of Modern Psychologists" Behavioral Sciences 7, no. 3: 53.

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