Psychologists Welcome Analysis Casting Doubt on Their Work

Psychologists Welcome Analysis Casting Doubt on Their Work

The New York Times

Benedict Carey, Science Reporter

The field of psychology sustained a damaging blow Thursday: A new analysis found that only 36 percent of findings from almost 100 studies in the top three psychology journals held up when the original experiments were rigorously redone.

After the report was published by the journal Science, commenters on Facebook wisecracked about how “social” and “science” did not belong in the same sentence.

Yet within the field, the reception was much different. Along with pockets of disgruntlement and outrage — no one likes the tired jokes, not to mention having doubt cast on their work — there was a sense of relief. One reason, many psychologists said, is that the authors of the new report were fellow researchers, not critics. It was an inside job.

“It’s like we’ve come clean,” said Alan Kraut, the executive director of the Association for Psychological Science, which publishes one of the journals analyzed in the new report. “This kind of correction is something that has to happen across science, and I’m proud that psychology is leading the charge on this.”…

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