The Costs and Benefits of Replication Studies

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Description: In a summary of recent discussions about the role of direct replications in psychological science, Zwaan, Etz, Lucas, and Donnellan (2017; henceforth ZELD) argue that replications should be more mainstream, and discuss six common objections to direct replication studies. We believe that the debate about the importance of replication research is essentially driven by disagreements about the value of replication studies and the best way to allocate limited resources. We suggest that a decision theory framework (Wald, 1950) can provide a tool for researchers to (a) evaluate costs and benefits in order to determine when replication studies are worthwhile, and (b) specify their assumptions in quantifiable terms, facilitating more productive discussions in which the sources of disagreement about the value of replications can be identified.

License: CC0 1.0 Universal

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  • Making Replication Mainstream

    Zwaan, Etz, Lucas & 1 more
    Many philosophers of science and methodologists have argued that the ability to repeat studies and obtain similar results is an essential component of...

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  • How to make replications mainstream

    Zwaan et al. (from here on Zea) integrated previous articles to promote making replications mainstream. We wholeheartedly agree. We extend their discu...

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  • Introducing a replication-first rule for PhD projects (BBS commentary on Zwaan et al, "Making replication mainstream")

    Zwaan et al. mention that young researchers should conduct replications as a small part of their portfolio. We extend this proposal and suggest that c...

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  • You are not your data: BBS commentary by Pennycook on Zwaan et al.

    Scientists should, above all else, value the truth. To do this effectively, scientists should separate their identities from the data they produce. It...

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  • BBS commentary by De Ruiter on Zwaan et al.

    A scientific claim is a generalization based on a reported statistically significant effect. The reproducibility of that claim is its scientific meani...

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  • Verifiability is a Core Principle of Science

    Scientific knowledge is supposed to be verifiable. Replications promote verifiability in several ways. Most straightforwardly, replications can verify...

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  • A Bayesian decision-making framework for replication

    Replication is the cornerstone of science – but when and why? Not all studies need replication, especially when resources are limited. We propose that...

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  • A Guide to Evaluate Replications: A Comment on Zwaan et al. (2017)

    Zwaan, Etz, Lucas, and Donnellan (2017) address commonly voiced concerns about replication studies and conclude that no obstacles exist to making repl...

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  • Comment on Zwaan, Etz, Lucas, and Donnellan (2017): Selecting target papers for replication

    Randomness in the selection process of the to-be-replicated target papers is of critical importance for replication success or failure. If target pape...

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  • What have we learned? What can we learn? - Comment on the BBS target article by Zwaan et al. on "Making replication mainstream"

    Strack & Stroebe
    We advocate that replications should be an integral part of the scientific discourse and provide insights about the conditions under which an effect o...

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