Has Replication’s Time Finally Arrived?

[From the article “Replications on the Rise” by Stuart Buck, posted at Arnold Ventures]
“Once a poorly rewarded scientific value, replication has seen a boom with studies in everything from psychology to dogs.”
“A significant tipping point was the Reproducibility Project in Psychology, which Arnold Ventures funded, and which was carried out by our grantee Center for Open Science. That project organized more than 200 psychology labs around the world to systematically redo 100 experiments published in top psychology journals.”
“Since 2015, we have seen an explosion in similar efforts. Particularly in social-behavioral science, there are now many replication projects that have organized labs around the world to replicate one or more scientific findings.”
– “The Social Sciences Replication Project (coordinated by the Center for Open Science) sought to replicate all 21 social science experiments published in Science and Nature between 2010 and 2015.”
– “The Experimental Economics Replication Project replicated 18 studies published in two of the top economics journals.”
– “The Many Labs series of studies (1 through 5) have all sought to systematically replicate psychology studies with many labs around the world. Many Labs 1 came out in 2014 and replicated 13 psychological findings; Many Labs 2 did the same for another 28 classic and newer findings; Many Labs 3 looked at whether psychological effects studied on college students would vary depending on the time of the semester; and Many Labs 4 and 5 are in progress.”
– “The Psychological Science Accelerator is a “globally distributed network of psychological science laboratories (currently more than 350),” with the goal of coordinating massive psychology studies across diverse settings.”
– “The Many Babies projects (of which there are now three) are coordinating multiple labs to study infant cognition (such as how babies develop a theory of mind or how they react to speech).”
– “In education, Many Numbers is a project to replicate research on how children develop math skills, while Many Classes will study questions such as curriculum across ‘dozens of contexts, spanning a range of courses, institutions, formats, and student populations.'”
– “The Many Smiles Project is organizing 18 labs from 17 countries to re-examine a contested question in psychology about whether people actually become happier when they are tricked into smiling (by being asked to hold a pencil between their teeth).”
– “The “Many” tagline has even reached animal research, including Many Primates (a collaboration to study primate cognition, such as short-term memory, in much larger samples than are typical for the field), and Many Dogs (a collaboration to study dog cognition).”
“More fields – from medicine to sociology to biology – should see the value in large replication projects that systematically take stock of whether research stands the test of time.”
To read the article, click here.

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