Replication and Research Synthesis

Date & time

4–5pm 6 November 2018


Peter Baume Building 42A Room 2.01


Sheri Kim PhD Candidate Research School of Psychology

Thus far, the role of research synthesis in the Replication Crisis has not been explicitly addressed. This adds confusion to the discussion surrounding the remedies for the Replication Crisis, as different researchers assume different and conflicting roles of research synthesis in replication.

Low replicability (i.e., lack of consistency among results) is vexing because it questions the foundation of how we do psychology and puts the credibility of psychology research at risk. This is because of the widely held assumption, that if a scientific truth exists, it should be able to be observed again and again under identical conditions. In reviewing the various responses to the Replication Crisis, I question whether this assumption is legitimate. I argue that the crisis at the core of the Replication Crisis is not low replicability, but the difficulty in interpreting and accumulating scientific evidence. Using this perspective of understanding the Replication Crisis, I clarify and define the crucial role that research synthesis plays in addressing the key concerns of the Replication Crisis.



Sheri is a third year PhD candidate at the Research School of Psychology, the Australian National University. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2013 with Class I Honours and University Medal. Her PhD research is about research synthesis. She is especially interested in effect sizes, and applications of research synthesis in health research. She is supervised by Professor Michael Smithson, Associate Professor Bruce Christensen, Dr Dave Pasalich.

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