Initial Effort Shows Less Than Half of Psychological Studies are Reproducible

Peer Review, Scientific Evidence, Daubert, Frye, Reproducibility, General Acceptance

This past summer, the Open Science Collaboration published a piece in Science detailing their efforts to reproduce key findings in articles derived from three top journals in psychology. They were able to replicate less than half of the 100 studies that were completed (roughly 40%). Justice demands certainty; now, psychology (and likely many other fields) provides even less than once was thought. Some might be tempted go as far as to dismiss science altogether as a “special” category of evidence. This reasoning belies an important fact – the vast majority of science is reproducible. Expressing surprise that new studies cannot be reproduced can be likened, in some sense, to expressing surprise that cases of first impression are sometimes overturned.