Unfortunately, the rest of us have not been quite so careful. More in addition to more data show we should be. In 2015, researchers reported on their replication of 100 experiments published in 2008 in three prominent psychology journals. Psychology studies don’t usually lead to much money or marketable products, so companies don’t focus on checking their robustness. Yet in This particular experiment, research results were just as questionable. The findings of the replications matched the original studies only one-third to one-half of the time, depending on the criteria used to define “similar.”
There are quite a few reasons just for This particular crisis. Scientists themselves are somewhat at fault. Research can be hard, in addition to rarely perfect. A better understanding of methodology, in addition to the flaws inherent within, might yield more reproducible work.
The research environment, in addition to its incentives, compound the problem. Academics are rewarded professionally when they publish in a high-profile journal. Those journals are more likely to publish completely new in addition to exciting work. of which’s what funders want as well. This particular means there can be an incentive, barely hidden, to achieve completely new in addition to exciting results in experiments.
Some researchers may be tempted to make sure of which they achieve “completely new in addition to exciting results.” This particular can be fraud. As much as we want to believe the item never happens, the item does. Clearly, fabricated results are not going to be replicable in follow-up experiments.
nevertheless fraud can be rare. What happens far more often can be much more subtle. Scientists are more likely to try to publish positive results than negative ones. They are driven to conduct experiments in such a way as to make the item more likely to achieve positive results. They sometimes measure many outcomes in addition to report only the ones of which showed bigger results. Sometimes they change things just enough to get a crucial measure of probability — the p value — down to 0.05 in addition to claim significance. This particular can be known as p-hacking.
How we report on studies can also be a problem. Even some studies reported on by newspapers (like This particular one) fail to hold up as we might desire.
This particular year, a study looked at how newspapers reported on research of which associated a risk factor which has a disease, both lifestyle risks in addition to biological risks. For initial studies, newspapers didn’t report on any null findings, meaning those of which had results without expected outcomes. They rarely reported null findings even when they were confirmed in subsequent work.
Fewer than half of the “significant” findings reported on by newspapers were later backed by some other studies in addition to meta-analyses. Most concerning, while 234 articles reported on initial studies of which were later shown to be questionable, only four articles followed up in addition to covered the refutations. Often, the refutations are published in lower-profile journals, in addition to so the item’s possible of which reporters are less likely to know about them. Journal editors may be as complicit as newspaper editors.
The not bad news can be of which the scientific community seems increasingly focused on solutions. Two years ago, the National Institutes of Health began funding efforts to create educational modules to train scientists to do more reproducible research. One of those grants allowed my YouTube show, Healthcare Triage, to create videos to explain how we could improve both experimental design in addition to the analysis in addition to reporting of research. Another grant helped the Society for Neuroscience develop webinars to promote awareness in addition to knowledge to enhance scientific rigor.
The Center for Open Science, funded by both the government in addition to foundations, has been pushing for increased openness, integrity in addition to reproducibility of research. They, along with experts in addition to even journals, have pushed for the preregistration of studies to ensure the methods of research are more transparent in addition to the analyses are free of bias or alteration. They conducted the replication study of psychological research, in addition to are today doing similar work in cancer research.
nevertheless true success will require a change within the culture of science. As long as the academic environment has incentives for scientists to work in silos in addition to hoard their data, transparency will be impossible. As long as the public demands a constant stream of significant results, researchers will consciously or subconsciously push their experiments to achieve those findings, valid or not. As long as the media hypes completely new findings instead of approaching them with the proper skepticism, placing them in context with what has come before, everyone will be nudged toward results of which are not reproducible.
For years, financial conflicts of interest have been properly identified as biasing research in improper ways. some other conflicts of interest exist, though, in addition to they are just as powerful — if not more so — in influencing the work of scientists across the country in addition to around the globe. We are producing progress in producing science better, nevertheless we’ve still got a long way to go.
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