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The research project will be in the field of Methodology and Statistics. It is concerned with reproducibility of research findings. It is motivated by the fact that large parts of the empirical literature in the ...
The research project will be in the field of Methodology and Statistics. It is concerned with reproducibility of research findings. It is motivated by the fact that large parts of the empirical literature in the social sciences seem untrustworthy (e.g., Open Science Collaboration, 2015). A major culprit in this reproducibility crisis is the over-reliance on inappropriate statistical inference tools (e.g., Hoekstra, Finch, Kiers & Johnson, 2006; van Ravenzwaaij & Ioannidis, 2017). Conventional statistical inference often makes use of a p-value as a vessel to quantify evidence against the null hypothesis. Unfortunately, this p-value is biased against the null hypothesis in three important ways, thus giving rise to a literature riddled with spurious research findings. However, studies differ in likelihood of having found a spurious result.
This project aims to provide a targeted approach for diagnosing original study results in need of replication. By re-evaluating existing statistical evidence in both the fields of psychology and pedagogy with a Bayesian hypothesis test, we can identify those studies for which reported statistical evidence is inconclusive or weak, and for which claims of the existence of an effect might have been premature. Simultaneously, the reanalysis can indicate which study results are supported by compelling evidence, thus lowering the need for those to be replicated. The PhD-student will work on developing and evaluating this methodology, especially in the context of combining the statistical results with theoretical reasons for attempting to replicate.
We are looking for a PhD candidate:
• with a Master’s degree in one of the Social Sciences with a strong academic record. A Master’s degree in Medicine will also be considered. In both cases, proven affinity to statistical methods is essential
• who has excellent English and academic writing skills
• who is a team player with excellent communication and project management skills
• who has (preferably) proficiency with statistical program R.
Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences
Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 30,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.
Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences
The Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences is a center of knowledge focusing on individuals and society. The faculty studies issues relating to human behavior, the relationships between people, and society as a whole. This includes the study of how people function under normal circumstances, but also of the problems encountered by individuals or groups, and how these can be resolved or prevented.
The PhD position will be in the department of Psychometrics and Statistics. Dr D. van Ravenzwaaij and Dr R. Hoekstra will be the daily supervisors of the project, and Prof. H.A.L. Kiers will be the formal promotor. For more information about the research in the department, see: www.rug.nl/research/heymans-institute/research/psychometrics_and_statistics/
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