Behavioral research may overstate results

Behavioral research may overstate results

Analysis implicates ambiguous methods and publish-or-perish culture in the United States

By Bruce Bower, 15:06 PM August 26, 2013

Here’s a hard pill to swallow for practitioners of “soft” sciences: Behavioral studies statistically exaggerate findings more often than investigations of biological processes do, especially if U.S. scientists are involved, a new report finds.

The inflated results stem from there being little consensus about experimental methods and measures in behavioral research, combined with intense publish-or-perish pressure in the United States, say evolutionary biologist Daniele Fanelli of the Universit...

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