In search of scope: A response to Ruiz et al. (2020)

Lee Hulbert-Williams, Rosina Pendrous*, Kevin D. Hochard, Nicholas J. Hulbert-Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

Deliberate and explicit replication attempts are becoming more common across the behavioral sciences. Whilst replicability has been recognized as a core feature of science for decades (if not centuries), the directness of today's replication work requires us to consider carefully how we communicate our research and how we conceptualize our theories in light of differing findings. This paper uses a concrete example to make a number of suggestions for how we, as a scientific community, ought to engage with replication attempts. Within Relational Frame Theory (RFT) there is a growing body of applied research on the effective use of metaphors to increase tolerance of aversive states. We conducted a replication of an earlier experimental analogue study (2020, this journal) and failed to find the specified effect. Ruiz et al. (2020, also this journal) have recently published a critical response in which they list a number of differences between our two studies which might account for the negative findings. We will use this series of three papers as our exemplum. We also take the opportunity to acknowledge some points of critique provided by Ruiz et al., and to set the record straight with respect to the differences between the original study and our replication attempt. We hope this discussion might help the CBS community to develop a coherent approach to the very current issue of replication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Contextual Behavioral Science
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Falsification
  • Metaphor
  • Moderator effects
  • Relational Frame Theory
  • Replication
  • Scope

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