Scientific evidence is only accepted by the larger scientific community when the results can be replicated and duplicated by various other researchers. And psychology is no stranger to the strict and rigid guidelines each theory must go through in order to be accepted by professional in the field. However, psychology has also long been thought of to be unreliable and unscientific by those who practice what is called “hard sciences” such as physics and biology. Check out Brian Torchin’s take on the matter by following his Google Plus account. Unfortunately, a new study provides even more reason to be apprehensive about accepting psychological data into the scientific community.
In an attempt to replicate data found in major psychological studies, researchers duplicated 100 studies and the results were troubling. Only 39 studies out of 100 were able to be reproduced under the same conditions as the original experiment. These findings are indicative of a widespread problem throughout the psychological community that causes distrust and credibility issues among scientists.
Though, since psychology is the study of the human mind, a highly subjective area of research, it shouldn’t be a surprise that findings are often unable to be replicated, Unlike the hard sciences, psychology tries to explain phenomenon that cannot be observed with any instruments, while the data collected is often through descriptions given my participants. Nonetheless, researchers are trying to find new ways to approach psychological research in order to make studies repeatable in order to gain the respect and trust of fellow scientists.