Research

03 Aug 2016
  • Research Result

Exploring the reproducibility of psychology experiments

In 2015, a paper entitled "Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science" was published in Science, in which the authors reported that only 39% of psychological studies could be successfully replicated. The impact of this article immediately propagated throughout academia, including fields outside of psychology. This report also drew great interest from the public.

Does psychology face a crisis? To address this question, Kyoto University's Masaki Tomonaga and colleagues asked prominent Japanese psychologists from various areas of research to review both the current status and future directions of their field. Including specialists in perception, social psychology, animal cognition, developmental psychology, personality psychology, and neuroscience. Tomonaga and colleagues also invited eminent researchers from various fields outside of psychology, including biostatistics, animal behavior, society, science and technology (SST), and science communication. The team has now published their findings as a special issue of Shinrigaku Hyoron (Japanese Psychological Review).

In an attempt to examine the bigger picture of reproducibility in psychology and elucidate the considerable differences in the degree of concern that exist related to this problem among psychology disciplines, including in data analysis and the effects of questionable research practices lurking in routine experimental processes. Tomonaga and colleagues strongly hope that this special issue will become a new milestone toward a positive reform movement in psychology.

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The issue of Shinrigaku Hyoron (Japanese psychological review) in which the paper appears