Validating new knowledge

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Prepare manuscript and put into a journal -> editor of journal examines topic of manuscript -> sends copies to other psychologists that are experts in the topic. PEER REVIEW -> Assessed -> sent back to editor with comments and recommendations about suitablity. -> Editor using the reports then has to decide whether it should be accepted, revised or rejected.

Zechmeister & Zechmeister 2006 noted that on 1/3 manuscripts sent to the journals of the American Psychological Society were accepted for publication.

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Problems with validation

  • Fabrication (data made up)
  • Falsification (data exists but has been altered)
  • Plagiarism (work had been copied from others)
  • Consistency with previous knowledge (research that doesn't 'fit' with previous knowledge is often rejected) (Grarcia and Koelling, rats)
  • Values in science (hard to seperate research from cultural, political or personal views). (Bowlby, maternal deprivation)
  • Bias in peer review. Instituation bias, gender bias.
  • File drawer phenomenon. Positive results favourited, null results often reject. If 10 negative findings are sitting in file drawers but one positive finding is published, then it may distort our understanding of a topic. 
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