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The Importance of Replication in Science in "Let’s Do It Again: a Call for Replications" by John E. Edlund

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The paper written by John E. Edlund “Let’s do it again: A call for replications” in Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research examines the importance of replication in science, particularly psychology. For so many years replication has been difficult to execute due to fabricated data, selective analyses, and manipulations of degrees. As stated in the paper, “Early career researchers in the field are pressured to publish early and often” which in turn can direct them towards “taking steps to drive up their publication counts”. Direct and conceptual replications alike are incredibly important in psychology. For without subsequent research supporting a study, there is no evidence supporting that the study was producing accurate data. In turn, this means the study is not contributing to the growth of psychological knowledge.

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Christopher A. Wolters & Maryam Hussain’s paper, Investigating grit and its relations with college students’ self-regulated learning and academic achievement, discusses the effect of grit in relation with college students’ success in school. Essentially, a study showed that grit was a predictor for indications of self-regulated learning (SRL). Grit, while associated with the tendency to be academically successful, is not consistently linked “specifically to students’ academic achievement”. SRL, however, is reinforced by convincing evidence in being linked with academic achievement. The study has shown that grit and SRL could truly be major factors in a student’s academic success. Without studies to make important connections like this, psychological knowledge would be left with many gaps. Relating two traits is important in cultivating psychology.

Psychology is the study of the mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior. This essentially means that the contributions of the study of psychology are virtually unlimited and ever-changing. As the importance of mental health continues to grow in our society, psychology will continue to be useful and important in our general knowledge. People are increasingly more aware of behaviors and what conditions may affect them. Psychology highlights the importance of understanding others and their actions. It provides a ‘why’ to many questions people ask in their everyday lives. For example, touching on the study done by Wolters & Hussain, instead of assuming someone is successful in school by pure luck or just ‘being smart’ we now can understand that they most likely encompass a personality trait that encourages them to work harder and focus more, otherwise known as grit.

While there are many contributions psychology provides to our general knowledge, there are also many limitations. Psychology is not like any other science. The study of the mind is complex and can be different for many people. Replications can pose a challenge, and replication is a key part of the scientific method. Without the ability to be accurately replicated, some may argue the study of psychology is not considered to be a science. Another limitation is that many people believe they know just as much about psychology as a trained and experienced psychologist. People tend to believe their common sense and life experience are enough to make them psychologists.

Future psychological research will be different than it is today, just as it is different today compared to the past. Psychology has much controversy surrounding it due to the fact that it is, and always will be varying. This is due to the environment and culture in which people live. My prediction is that in the future psychology will be proven more reliable and accurate due to evolving technology and the increasing focus on mental health. Psychology has not been taken seriously by many people in the past, but that is changing- and the future looks bright.

With mental health becoming so prevalent in today’s world, and continuing to grow, psychology faces some obstacles. Tying back in what was previously stated about people believing their own experiences provide enough evidence to make judgements on psychology, this could prove to be a serious issue in the future of psychological research. With everyone believing they truly understand psychological behavior, it will make it difficult for actual psychological studies to be executed and trusted. In a sense, it could end up giving the study of psychology a bad reputation because people will associate it with those who falsely claim to be knowledgeable on the subject.

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