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Effects of Knowledge on Willingness to Pre-Register

Pre-registration is a straightforward way to make science more transparent, and control Type I error rates. It is often presented as beneficial for science in general, but rarely as a practice that leads to immediate individual benefits for researchers.
Daniel Lakens relied on a two-part study to examine whether researchers are more willing to pre-register their analysis plan to take advantage of the efficiency benefits of non-conventional designs. In the first part, he surveyed the editors of three top journals in psychology on the appropriateness of one-tailed tests and sequential analyses, and found that a large majority of editors agreed, but only when such analyses were pre-registered. In the second part, he surveyed 1,802 experimental psychologists whose work had appeared in the three top psychology journals on whether their willingness to pre-register their study was influenced by the fact of learning of the efficiency benefits of pre-registration, and its approval among journal editors. The survey revealed that these factors were not enough to influence the researchers’ willingness to pre-register.

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