Why social psychologists using Structural Equation Modelling need to pre-register their studies

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Description: This is a project page for an oral conference presentation made at SASP 2018. Abstract: Experimental social psychologists are increasingly aware of the need to pre-register their plans for data collection and analysis. But pre-registrations are still rarely used by social psychologists (and other researchers) who use structural equation modelling (SEM). SEM is useful for testing complex models, but its very capacity for complexity means that it requires many decisions to be made by the researcher. By flexibly making decisions in such a way as to produce a statistical model that has “good” fit, researchers can easily end up reporting a model that fits the sample data well—even if this finding would be entirely unreplicable in a new sample. In this presentation, I will discuss why and how pre-registration can profitably be applied in SEM research. In addition, I will discuss how pre-registration provides a partial resolution to the ongoing and acrimonious debate over which global fit statistics are most appropriate in SEM. Preferred citation: Williams, M. N. (2018, April). Why social psychologists using Structural Equation Modelling need to pre-register their studies. Paper presented at the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists (SASP) Conference, Wellington, New Zealand. Retrieved from osf.io/f8sr5/

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