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Citing other papers is easy. Voilà: (CMS/CERN 2012) or (Holstein 2009). Click on the cite button in the toolbar to search articles and cite them. Authorea also comes with a powerful commenting system. Don’t agree that \(E = mc^{3}\)?!? Highlight the text you want to discuss or click the comment button. Find out more about using Authorea on our help page. Mind the Gap! Stages of an Ideal Research Program in the Empirical Social Sciences: From Context of Discovery to Context of Justification

Erich H. Witte Frank Zenker University of Hamburg, Germany Lund University, Sweden

Abstract: The current crisis in psychology and the social sciences more generally does not readily compare to the usual crisis-discourse, as many researchers now lack confidence in methodologically well-hardened empirical knowledge being possible at all. This paper argues that making headway demands the integration of extant empirical results into fully-fledged research programs, and entails the adaptation of statistical inference-strategies as programs develop. In particular, a methodological transition from the context of discovery to the context of justification must be explicitly acknowledged. After all, justification (confirmation) is a comparative notion, and becomes possible only if alternative hypotheses are well-specified. Otherwise, empirical results will continue to warrant a merely intuitive confidence. We provide an idealized sketch of methodologically distinct stages of a research program to lay bare how obtaining empirical knowledge may be improved vis-à-vis the status quo.


  1. CMS/CERN. A New Boson with a Mass of 125 GeV Observed with the CMS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. Science 338, 1569-1575 (2012). Link

  2. Barry R Holstein. The mysterious disappearance of Ettore Majorana. J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 173, 012019 IOP Publishing, 2009. Link

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