Friday, November 6, 2015

Research shows many mistakes in scientific psychological publications

Half of the psychology articles in scientific journals contain one or more statistical mistakes.  In most cases, this is the result of negligence, such as typos and mistaken rounding up or down of statistics.  In one out of eight cases, however, major negligence was found in the calculations, which impacted directly on the statistical results.  This was discovered in a study carried out by methods expert Michele Nuijten, who tested a random sample of 30,000 articles.  In most of the cases, the mistakes were in line with the opinions expressed by the researchers themselves on the subject of their papers.  Together with another researcher, Nuijten has developed a program which can check statistical inaccuracies.  It can assess whether the mistakes are accidental or not.  In papers where the mistakes were not accidental, frequently more errors were found.

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