Psychology Prof Part of Sweeping Replication Study

By Dan Verderosa, November 19, 2018
The Many Labs 2 project replicated 28 psychology studies in more than 60 labs all over the world.
MRI cross-section of a human brain
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For several years, the field of psychology has been trying to improve the credibility of its research findings. Now, the results of a massive, worldwide project to replicate the results of psychology studies have been released, suggesting when and why findings are more likely to be reproduced.

A team of 186 researchers at more than 60 institutions took part in the Many Labs 2 project, which sought to replicate 28 classic and contemporary studies. One of those institutions was Ithaca College, where professor Leigh Ann Vaughn and her students replicated 14 studies. They successfully replicated about half of the findings, in line with the results of the entire project.

“Studies like this are important because they can test common assumptions about the reproducibility of research findings,” said Vaughn, who teaches in the Department of Psychology. “For example, the results of Many Labs 2 provide strong evidence that differences in samples and locations do not contribute much to whether results of a study replicate or not. This has been a common assumption about why a finding does not reproduce.”

In addition to collecting data for Many Labs 2, Vaughn also helped design the project and write the paper describing its results, which was published in the journal Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science on Nov. 19.