NPR

In Psychology And Other Social Sciences, Many Studies Fail The Reproducibility Test

Many social sciences experiments couldn't be reproduced in a new study, thus calling into question their findings. The field of social science is pushing hard to improve its scientific rigor.
A researcher showed people a picture of The Thinker in an effort to study the link between analytical thinking and religious disbelief. In hindsight, the researcher called his study design "silly". The study could not be reproduced. Source: Peter Barritt/Getty Images

The world of social science got a rude awakening a few years ago, when researchers concluded that many studies in this area appeared to be deeply flawed. Two-thirds could not be replicated in other labs.

Some of those same researchers now report those problems still frequently crop up, even in the most prestigious scientific journals.

But their study, published Monday in Nature Human Behaviour, also finds that social scientists can actually sniff out the dubious results with remarkable skill.

First, the findings. Brian Nosek, a psychology researcher at the University of Virginia and the executive director of the Center for Open Science, decided to focus on social science studies published in the most prominent journals, Science and .

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