New study suggests studies may not always be right

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A new study has surfaced and it states that scientific studies about how people act or think can rarely be replicated by outside experts. In...

A new study has surfaced and it states that scientific studies about how people act or think can rarely be replicated by outside experts. In a way, it questioned the basic seriousness of these psychology researchers. A team of 270 tried to re-enact 100 psychology and social science studies that have been published in three top peer-reviewed US journals in 2008. After equating the results the scientists found that only 39 per cent of the studies matched the results that were predicted back in 2008. The study topics included people’s social lives and interactions with others to research involving perception, attention and memory. The researchers did not include any studies based on medical therapies for the time being.
New study suggests studies may not always be right

However, a separate effort is already underway to evaluate the findings of cancer studies.The co-author of the study, Brian Noesk said that the research shows the need for scientists to continually question themselves. He believes that a scientific claim does not become believable because of the status or the authority of the person who generated it.  Another senior editor at the Journal Science, Gilbert Chin, said,” It’s important to note that this somewhat disappointing outcome does not speak directly to the validity or the falsity of the theories. What it does say is that we should be less confident about many of the original experimental results.”

A problem like this can arise when the scientist hand-pick their data to include only what is classified as significant or when study sizes are too small that false negatives or false positives arise. Sometimes the scientists are also under pressure to publish research regularly and that too in top Journals, which might lead to some hastened or skewed results. Some experts think that the problem could be much worse than the current study suggests. They think that about 25 per cent of psychology papers would hold up under scrutiny, about the same as we seen in many of the biochemical disciplines.

A solution to this situation could be the mandatory registration of research methods beforehand to prevent scientists from picking only the favorable data for analysis, as well as requiring adequate sample sizes so that the results are obtained from a population as diverse as possible. Scientists could also publish their methods and data in detail so that others could try to replicate the studies and cross check their results. These methods would also be useful in conducting further studies on any subject.

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Washington Account: New study suggests studies may not always be right
New study suggests studies may not always be right
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