Ways out of the research crisis
The results of many psychological studies cannot be replicated. This caused a severe loss of trust in the field. What can researchers do better in the future?
There are days that shape your whole life. October 17, 2011 was such a day for Felix Schönbrodt. He had previously researched personality psychology and had just become an assistant professor at Munich's Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU). But then three scientists from the Universities of Pennsylvania and Berkeley in California published a study called "False-Positive Psychology." Because of this paper, Schönbrodt began to focus his career on transforming science.
The work in question was more of a theoretical nature. In it, the three US researchers led by Joseph Simmons calculated for the psychological community how easy it is to obtain a significant result with a few inaccuracies or tricks – so-called p-hacking – where there is actually none at all. Depending on the methodological structure, they wrote, in many cases it is even more likely to find such a false positive result than to correctly discover that there is no relevant result…