Don’t trust everything you read in the psychology literature. In fact, two thirds of it should probably be distrusted.

In the biggest project of its kind, Brian Nosek, a social psychologist and head of the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Virginia, and 269 co-authors repeated work reported in 98 original papers from three psychology journals, to see if they independently came up with the same results.

The studies they took on ranged from whether expressing insecurities perpetuates them to differences in how children and adults respond to fear stimuli, to effective ways to teach arithmetic.

According to the replicators’ qualitative assessments, as previously reported by Natureonly 39 of the 100 replication attempts were successful. (There were 100 completed replication attempts on the 98 papers, as in two cases replication efforts were duplicated by separate teams.)  But whether a replication attempt is considered successful is not straightforward. Today in Science,the team report the multiple different measures they used to answer this question1.

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