Better Understanding the Population Size and Stigmatization of Psychologists Using Questionable Research Practices


  • Nicholas Fox Rutgers University
  • Nathan Honeycutt Rutgers University
  • Lee Jussim Rutgers University



Questionable Research Practices, QRPs, Replication Crisis, Social Networks, Stigma, Person Perception


There has been low confidence in the replicability and reproducibility of published psychological findings. Previous work has demonstrated that a population of psychologists exists that have used questionable research practices (QRPs), or behaviors during data collection, analysis, and publication that can increase the number of false-positive findings in the scientific literature. Across two survey studies, we sought to estimate the current size of the QRP-using population of American psychologists and to identify if this sub-population of scientists is stigmatized. Using a self-report direct estimator, we estimate approximately 18\% of American psychologists have used at least one QRP in the past 12 months. We then demonstrate the use of two additional estimators: the unmatched count estimate (an indirect self-report estimator) and the generalized network scale up method (an indirect social network estimator). Additionally, attitudes of psychologists towards QRP users, and ego network data collected from self-reported QRP users, suggest that QRP users are a stigmatized sub-population of psychologists. Together, these findings provide insight into how many psychologists are using questionable practices and how they exist in the social environment.


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