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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.

References

  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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