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      SCIENTIFIC STANDARDS. Promoting an open research culture.

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          An Agenda for Purely Confirmatory Research.

          The veracity of substantive research claims hinges on the way experimental data are collected and analyzed. In this article, we discuss an uncomfortable fact that threatens the core of psychology's academic enterprise: almost without exception, psychologists do not commit themselves to a method of data analysis before they see the actual data. It then becomes tempting to fine tune the analysis to the data in order to obtain a desired result-a procedure that invalidates the interpretation of the common statistical tests. The extent of the fine tuning varies widely across experiments and experimenters but is almost impossible for reviewers and readers to gauge. To remedy the situation, we propose that researchers preregister their studies and indicate in advance the analyses they intend to conduct. Only these analyses deserve the label "confirmatory," and only for these analyses are the common statistical tests valid. Other analyses can be carried out but these should be labeled "exploratory." We illustrate our proposal with a confirmatory replication attempt of a study on extrasensory perception.
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            Registered reports: a new publishing initiative at Cortex.

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              Social science. Promoting transparency in social science research.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science (New York, N.Y.)
                1095-9203
                0036-8075
                Jun 26 2015
                : 348
                : 6242
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Affiliations for the authors, all of whom are members of the TOP Guidelines Committee, are given in the supplementary materials. nosek@virginia.edu.
                [2 ] Affiliations for the authors, all of whom are members of the TOP Guidelines Committee, are given in the supplementary materials.
                Article
                348/6242/1422 NIHMS714651
                10.1126/science.aab2374
                26113702

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