A tragedy of the (academic) commons: Interpreting the replication crisis in psychology as a social dilemma for early-career researchers

Year
2015
Type(s)
Author(s)
Jim A.C. Everett, Brian D. Earp
Source
Frontiers in Psychology (6)
Url
https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01152
BibTeX
BibTeX

Several proposals for addressing the “replication crisis” in social psychology have been advanced in the recent literature. In this paper, we argue that the “crisis” be interpreted as a disciplinary social dilemma, with the problem facing early-career researchers being especially acute. To resolve this collective action problem, we offer a structural solution: as a condition of receiving their Ph.D. from any accredited institution, graduate students in psychology should be required to conduct, write up, and submit for publication a high-quality replication attempt of at least one key finding from the literature, focusing on the area of their doctoral research. We consider strengths, weaknesses, and implementation challenges associated with this proposal, and call on our colleagues to offer critical response.