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Questionable research practices


O'Boyle, Ernest H; Götz, Martin (2022). Questionable research practices. In: Jussim, Lee J; Krosnick, Jon A; Stevens, Sean T. Research integrity : Best practices for the social and behavioral sciences. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 260-294.

Abstract

There is increasing concern that the veracity of research findings in a number of scientific disciplines, including psychology, may be compromised by questionable research/reporting practices (QRPs). QRPs, such as hypothesizing after results are known, selectively deleting outliers, and “p-hacking,” bolster findings by giving the appearance of statistical significance, generalizability, and novelty. In truth, studies containing such QRPs do not replicate, do not generalize, and mislead both research and practice. This process of “ugly” initial results metamorphosing into “beautiful” articles through QRPs is known as the chrysalis effect and has the potential to compromise the integrity of the field and the trust practitioners and external funding agencies place in psychology research. This chapter reviews the extant research of the existence and frequency of QRP engagement. We then transition into the antecedents and outcomes of QRPs, with a focus on the system processes that both encourage and facilitate QRP engagement. We then close with a series of steps that might mitigate QRP prevalence in order for research to reflect best scientific practices.

Abstract

There is increasing concern that the veracity of research findings in a number of scientific disciplines, including psychology, may be compromised by questionable research/reporting practices (QRPs). QRPs, such as hypothesizing after results are known, selectively deleting outliers, and “p-hacking,” bolster findings by giving the appearance of statistical significance, generalizability, and novelty. In truth, studies containing such QRPs do not replicate, do not generalize, and mislead both research and practice. This process of “ugly” initial results metamorphosing into “beautiful” articles through QRPs is known as the chrysalis effect and has the potential to compromise the integrity of the field and the trust practitioners and external funding agencies place in psychology research. This chapter reviews the extant research of the existence and frequency of QRP engagement. We then transition into the antecedents and outcomes of QRPs, with a focus on the system processes that both encourage and facilitate QRP engagement. We then close with a series of steps that might mitigate QRP prevalence in order for research to reflect best scientific practices.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:10 June 2022
Deposited On:25 May 2022 15:55
Last Modified:23 Dec 2022 13:37
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISBN:9780190938550
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190938550.003.0010
Official URL:https://global.oup.com/academic/product/research-integrity-9780190938550?lang=en&cc=id