The Use of Questionable Research Practices to Survive in Academia Examined With Expert Elicitation, Prior-Data Conflicts, Bayes Factors for Replication Effects, and the Bayes Truth Serum
van der Schoot, R. Winter, S., Griffioen, E., Grimmelikhuijsen, S., Arts, I., Veen, D., Grandfield, E. and Tummers, L. (2021)
Frontiers in Psychology
The popularity and use of Bayesian methods have increased across many research domains. The current article demonstrates how some less familiar Bayesian methods can be used.
Specifically, we applied expert elicitation, testing for prior-data conflicts, the Bayesian Truth Serum, and testing for replication effects via Bayes Factors in a series of four studies investigating the use of questionable research practices (QRPs).
Scientifically fraudulent or unethical research practices have caused quite a stir in academia and beyond. Improving science starts with educating Ph.D. candidates: the scholars of tomorrow. In four studies concerning 765 Ph.D. candidates, we investigate whether Ph.D. candidates can differentiate between ethical and unethical or even fraudulent research practices.
We probed the Ph.D.s’ willingness to publish research from such practices and tested whether this is influenced by (un)ethical behavior pressure from supervisors or peers. Furthermore, 36 academic leaders (deans, vice-deans, and heads of research) were interviewed and asked to predict what Ph.D.s would answer for different vignettes.
Our study shows, and replicates, that some Ph.D. candidates are willing to publish results deriving from even blatant fraudulent behavior–data fabrication. Additionally, some academic leaders underestimated this behavior, which is alarming.
Academic leaders have to keep in mind that Ph.D. candidates can be under more pressure than they realize and might be susceptible to using QRPs. As an inspiring example and to encourage others to make their Bayesian work reproducible, we published data, annotated scripts, and detailed output on the Open Science Framework (OSF).
Cite this article
van der Schoot, R. Winter, S., Griffioen, E., Grimmelikhuijsen, S., Arts, I., Veen, D., Grandfield, E. and Tummers, L. (2021) The Use of Questionable Research Practices to Survive in Academia Examined with Expert Elicitation, Prior Data Conflicts, Bayes Factors for Replication Effects, and Bayes Truth Serum Frontiers in Psychology;. DOI 10.3389/pysg.2021.621547