Preregistration in practice: A comparison of preregistered and non-preregistered studies in psychology
Preregistration has gained traction as one of the most promising solutions to improve the replicability of scientific effects. In this project, we compared 193 psychology studies that earned a Preregistration Challenge prize or preregistration badge to 193 related studies that were not preregistered. In contrast to our theoretical expectations and prior research, we did not find that preregistered studies had a lower proportion of positive results (Hypothesis 1), smaller effect sizes (Hypothesis 2), or fewer statistical errors (Hypothesis 3) than non-preregistered studies. Supporting our Hypotheses 4 and 5, we found that preregistered studies more often contained power analyses and typically had larger sample sizes than non-preregistered studies. Finally, concerns about the publishability and impact of preregistered studies seem unwarranted, as preregistered studies did not take longer to publish and scored better on several impact measures. Overall, our data indicate that preregistration has beneficial effects in the realm of statistical power and impact, but we did not find robust evidence that preregistration prevents p-hacking and HARKing (Hypothesizing After the Results are Known).
Author affiliationSchool of Psychology and Vision Science, University of Leicester
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