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Not So Strong After All

Today's New York Times reports on a new study questioning the results of many headline-grabbing psychological studies. The authors report that more than half of the studies they examined could not be replicated to the same effect as the original studies.  As the article mentions:

The new analysis, called the Reproducibility Project and posted Thursday by Science, found no evidence of fraud or that any original study was definitively false. Rather, it concluded that the evidence for most published findings was not nearly as strong as originally claimed.

"Less than half -- even lower than I thought," said Dr. John Ioannidis, a director of Stanford University's Meta-Research Innovation Center, who once estimated that about half of published results across medicine were inflated or wrong. Dr. Ioannidis said the problem was hardly confined to psychology and could be worse in other fields, including cell biology, economics, neuroscience, clinical medicine, and animal research.

This is hardly surprising news to anyone in the field who's been paying attention but it's good news that it's getting some widespread attention.  There is an epidemic of Overclaim Syndrome in many parts of psychology that desperately needs the antidote of modesty.  

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