Thursday, December 01, 2011

Questionable research practises in psychological research: some evidence

The ever interesting British Psychological Society Research Digest discusses here an article forthcoming in Psychological Science which documents questionable research practises in psychology based on an anonymous survey of 2000 academics. It comes on foot of the revelation of serious and persistent fraud by a social psychologist in the Netherlands.

Research in economics differs from psychology in number of ways. In particular, we are much less likely to collect our own data and less likely to do experiments. Nonetheless there are plenty of oportunities for dubious if not outright fraudulent practises. It would be good if someone tried to quantify this.

I suspect that the selective reporting of results, cherry-picking, is the most common form of malpractice. As far as I know, when people try to replicate others’ econometric results the track record is not good.

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