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The Role of Replication in Psychological Science

Fletcher, Samuel C. (2021) The Role of Replication in Psychological Science. European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 11 (23). pp. 1-19.

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Abstract

The replication or reproducibility crisis in psychological science has renewed attention to philosophical aspects of its methodology. I provide herein a new, functional account of the role of replication in a scientific discipline: to undercut the underdetermination of scientific hypotheses from data, typically by hypotheses that connect data with phenomena. These include hypotheses that concern sampling error, experimental control, and operationalization. How a scientific hypothesis could be underdetermined in one of these ways depends on a scientific discipline's epistemic goals, theoretical development, material constraints, institutional context, and their interconnections. I illustrate how these apply to the case of psychological science. I then contrast this "bottom-up" account with "top-down" accounts, which assume that the role of replication in a particular science, such as psychology, must follow from a uniform role that it plays in science generally. Aside from avoiding unaddressed problems with top-down accounts, my bottom-up account also better explains the variability of importance of replication of various types across different scientific disciplines.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Fletcher, Samuel C.scfletch@umn.edu0000-0002-9061-8976
Keywords: Replication, Psychology, Underdetermination, Confirmation, Lakatos, Reproducibility
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Experimentation
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Prof. Samuel C. Fletcher
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2021 04:09
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2021 04:09
Item ID: 19193
Journal or Publication Title: European Journal for Philosophy of Science
Publisher: Springer
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13194-0...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s13194-020-00329-2
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Experimentation
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 8 January 2021
Page Range: pp. 1-19
Volume: 11
Number: 23
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19193

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