Barbara Spellman

A Short (Personal) Future History of Revolution 2.0

PUBLISHER
Perspectives on Psychological Science
DATE
2015
 

UVA Law Faculty Affiliations

Barbara A. Spellman

Abstract

Crisis of replicability is one term that psychological scientists use for the current introspective phase we are in-I argue instead that we are going through a revolution analogous to a political revolution. Revolution 2.0 is an uprising focused on how we should be doing science now (i.e., in a 2.0 world). The precipitating events of the revolution have already been well-documented: failures to replicate, questionable research practices, fraud, etc. And the fact that none of these events is new to our field has also been well-documented. I suggest four interconnected reasons as to why this time is different: changing technology, changing demographics of researchers, limited resources, and misaligned incentives. I then describe two reasons why the revolution is more likely to catch on this time: technology (as part of the solution) and the fact that these concerns cut across social and life sciences-that is, we are not alone. Neither side in the revolution has behaved well, and each has characterized the other in extreme terms (although, of course, each has had a few extreme actors). Some suggested reforms are already taking hold (e.g., journals asking for more transparency in methods and analysis decisions; journals publishing replications) but the feared tyrannical requirements have, of course, not taken root (e.g., few journals require open data; there is no ban on exploratory analyses). Still, we have not yet made needed advances in the ways in which we accumulate, connect, and extract conclusions from our aggregated research. However, we are now ready to move forward by adopting incremental changes and by acknowledging the multiplicity of goals within psychological science.

Citation

Barbara A. Spellman, A Short (Personal) Future History of Revolution 2.0, 10 Perspectives on Psychological Science 886-889 (2015).
 

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