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Values, Bias and Replicability

Sikorski, Michał (2024) Values, Bias and Replicability. [Preprint]

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The value-free ideal of science is a view that claims that scientists should not use non-epistemic values when they are justifying their hypotheses. It is generally regarded as obsolete (e.g., Longino 1990, Douglas 2009, or Elliott 2011). I will defend the ideal by showing that if we accept the influence of non-epistemic values prohibited by it, we are forced to accept, as legitimate scientific conduct, some of the problematic practices present in science (e.g., founder bias or questionable research practices) which contribute to the replication crisis. I will start by arguing that the reliability of VFI is not a necessary condition for its validity. I will show how some of the prominent proposals of value-laden science (e.g., Douglas 2009 or Kourany 2020) lead to the legitimization of problematic scientific practices by providing examples from actual scientific practice. My next step will be to demonstrate how value-laden methodological decisions are connected to the Replicability Crisis. When different scientists share different non-epistemic values, the influence of those values on methodological decisions contributes to inconsistent scientific results. Finally, I will present two strategies for realizing the value-free ideal. Firstly, following Betz (2013), scientists can avoid problematic (value-laden) methodological choices by hedging their results. Secondly, as proposed by Levi (1960), a scientific community can instantiate a scientific convention that recommends a particular solution for a given methodological problem and therefore makes a corresponding (value-laden) decision unnecessary.

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Item Type: Preprint
Sikorski, Michałmichalpsikorski@gmail.com0000-0002-6251-0183
Keywords: Founder's Bias; Replication Crisis; Questionable Research Practices; Non-Epistemic Values; Value-Free Ideal; Realiziability of Value-Free Ideal;
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Dr Michał Sikorski
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2024 16:16
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2024 16:16
Item ID: 23210
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 20 March 2024

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