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Can the Behavioral Sciences Self-Correct? A Social Epistemic Study

Romero, F., Dec-2016, In : Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. Part A. 60, p. 55-69 15 p.

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  • Can the Behavioral Sciences Self-Correct? A Social Epistemic Study

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DOI

Advocates of the self-corrective thesis argue that scientific method will refute false theories and find closer approximations to the truth in the long run. I discuss a contemporary interpretation of this thesis in terms of frequentist statistics in the context of the behavioral sciences. First, I identify experimental replications and systematic aggregation of evidence (meta-analysis) as the self-corrective mechanism. Then, I present a computer simulation study of scientific communities that implement this mechanism to argue that frequentist statistics may converge upon a correct estimate or not depending on the social structure of the community that uses it. Based on this study, I argue that methodological explanations of the “replicability crisis” in psychology are limited and propose an alternative explanation in terms of biases. Finally, I conclude suggesting that scientific self-correction should be understood as an interaction effect between inference methods and social structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-69
Number of pages15
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science. Part A
Volume60
Early online date10-Nov-2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2016
Externally publishedYes

    Keywords

  • CUMULATIVE KNOWLEDGE, STATISTICAL POWER, PSYCHOLOGY, REPLICABILITY, METAANALYSIS, REPLICATION, RELIABILITY, THESIS

ID: 107590284