NEW YORK (RPT) – A team of researchers recently conducted a large-scale replication project to assess the reliability of some of psychology’s most famous findings. While the percentage of results that successfully replicated ranged from 10-60% across most fields of psychology, one set of studies passed replication attempts greater than 100% of the time: studies based on hypotheses that were unfalsifiable. These unfalsifiable results, which are unable to be contradicted by the results of any physical experiment, never failed to replicate.
“We were really surprised by our findings,” one of the lead researchers told RPT. “In many cases, we tested the unfalsifiable hypotheses six ways to Sunday, but the results never contradicted them.” He added, “This is really a good thing for the field, we think. I mean, unfalsifiable hypotheses laid the foundation for psychological science. So at least we can be sure that our foundation is solid and that there’s no need to critically evaluate any research conducted before 1975.”
RPT reporters spoke with another researcher on the project, asking her if any other types of studies were particularly robust to replication attempts. “Actually, yes. Most of the studies that never proposed or tested any specific hypothesis at all also replicated. For example, we replicated one of the most famous studies ever conducted, ‘The Stanford Prison Experiment.’ I mean, the guards started a Betty White fan club instead of torturing the inmates like in the original study, but that does not contradict the original hypothesis, being that there wasn’t one.”