Date of Award
Master of Philosophy (School of Philosophy and Theology)
Schools and Centres
Philosophy and Theology
Professor Renée Köhler-Ryan
Doctor Brentyn Ramm
I argue that one step toward addressing the replication crisis in psychology is through the application of appropriate transparency in research communication. Drawing upon virtue epistemology, I propose that appropriate transparency can be defined as a contextually informed point between understatement and overstatement. As such, I contend that judging appropriate transparency in research psychology requires a shared research design nomenclature (RDN). As researchers’ definitions of terms related to research psychology are not necessarily identical between individuals, it is beneficial to use transparent definitions of pivotal concepts to facilitate effective communication between researchers and their audience. However, the boundaries of appropriate transparency in research communications differ depending upon the primary audience. Thus, I argue that appropriate transparency in communication must be judged in the context of the intended audience of the specific research communication. The lack of a shared RDN introduces unnecessary strain on this process; whereas, a shared RDN would aid researchers in identifying the appropriate level of transparency for their research communication audience. A RDN should be as explicit as possible without being unnecessarily proscriptive; it will be most useful when retaining sufficient flexibility for experts to apply practical judgement regarding appropriate transparency. Having outlined the benefits of a RDN, I then build upon Stefan Schmidt’s and others’ work to propose a RDN that could provide a guide to researchers on appropriate transparency in communicating research-design information. While adhering to a shared RDN requires extra effort, it also provides common ground for primary researchers and replication researchers when designing projects and communicating efficiently. Moreover, a shared RDN can be leveraged to demonstrate appropriate transparency for non-experts with minimal expenditure of effort by the researcher. By adhering to a RDN, experts and non-experts alike are provided with a common point of reference, thus encouraging restored confidence in research interpretation.
Mannolini-Winwood, B. (2022). The Virtue of Appropriate Transparency: Research Psychology and the Replication Crisis (Master of Philosophy (School of Philosophy and Theology)). University of Notre Dame Australia. https://researchonline.nd.edu.au/theses/363