Health & Medicine

How Reliable is Psychology?

Jolene CreightonSeptember 14th 2015

Psychology has the ability to tell us about the inner workings of human behavior and what motivates us, but recently, its validity has been called into question.

According to a study published in the latest issue of Science, only 39 out of 100 psychology papers could be repeated with similar results.

A team led by Brian Nosek from the Center for Open Science (COS) spent four years reproducing the results from a hundred psychology papers published in a handful of leading journals. The team found that over half were unable to be reproduced at all, which could call a lot of established research into question.

“For years there has been concern about the reproducibility of scientific findings, but little direct, systematic evidence. This project is the first of its kind and adds substantial evidence that the concerns are real and addressable,” said Nosek in a press release. Johanna Cohoon, one of the project coordinators with COS, clarifies that, “The findings demonstrate that reproducing original results may be more difficult than is presently assumed, and interventions may be needed to improve reproducibility.”

So, what exactly does this study mean for psychology? How how reliable is it?

Today, Dr. Grant Gutheil, Associate Professor of Psychology at Nazareth College delves into this topic and the probabilistic nature of psychology. In the second half of the show, we’ll explore what psychology might say about the very nature of the human mind.

The One Universe at a Time Podcast is produced at the Rochester Institute of Technology with support from the RIT College of Science.

Host: Brian Koberlein
Guest: Grant Gutheil
Producer: Mark Gillespie
Music: Marcus Warner

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