Reporting in Experimental Philosophy: Current standards and recommendations for future practice

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Description: Recent replication crises in psychology and other fields have led to intense reflection about the validity of common research practices. Much of this reflection has focussed on reporting standards, and how they may be related to the questionable research practices that could underlie a high proportion of irreproducible findings in the published record. As a developing field, it is particularly important for Experimental Philosophy to avoid some of the pitfalls that have beset other disciplines. To this end, here we provide a detailed, comprehensive assessment of current reporting practices in Experimental Philosophy. We focus on the quality of statistical reporting and the disclosure of information about study methodology. We assess all the articles using quantitative methods (n=134) that were published over the years 2013-2016 in 29 leading philosophy journals. We find that null hypothesis significance testing is the prevalent statistical practice in Experimental Philosophy, although relying solely on this approach has been criticised in the psychological literature, and augmented by other approaches that Experimental Philosophy has adopted only partially: 53% of the papers report an effect size, 28% confidence intervals, 1% examined prospective statistical power and 5% report observed statistical power. Importantly, we find no direct relation between an article’s reporting quality and its impact (numbers of citations). We conclude with recommendations for authors, reviewers and editors in Experimental Philosophy, to facilitate making research statistically-transparent and reproducible.

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