Editorial Decisions May Perpetuate Belief in Invalid Research Findings
Kimmo Eriksson and
PLOS ONE, 2013, vol. 8, issue 9, 1-6
Social psychology and related disciplines are seeing a resurgence of interest in replication, as well as actual replication efforts. But prior work suggests that even a clear demonstration that a finding is invalid often fails to shake acceptance of the finding. This threatens the full impact of these replication efforts. Here we show that the actions of two key players – journal editors and the authors of original (invalidated) research findings – are critical to the broader public’s continued belief in an invalidated research conclusion. Across three experiments, we show that belief in an invalidated finding falls sharply when a critical failed replication is published in the same – versus different – journal as the original finding, and when the authors of the original finding acknowledge that the new findings invalidate their conclusions. We conclude by discussing policy implications of our key findings.
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