A Collaborative Approach to Infant Research: Promoting Reproducibility, Best Practices, and Theory-Building

Published

Journal Article

Copyright © International Congress of Infant Studies (ICIS) The ideal of scientific progress is that we accumulate measurements and integrate these into theory, but recent discussion of replicability issues has cast doubt on whether psychological research conforms to this model. Developmental research—especially with infant participants—also has discipline-specific replicability challenges, including small samples and limited measurement methods. Inspired by collaborative replication efforts in cognitive and social psychology, we describe a proposal for assessing and promoting replicability in infancy research: large-scale, multi-laboratory replication efforts aiming for a more precise understanding of key developmental phenomena. The ManyBabies project, our instantiation of this proposal, will not only help us estimate how robust and replicable these phenomena are, but also gain new theoretical insights into how they vary across ages, linguistic communities, and measurement methods. This project has the potential for a variety of positive outcomes, including less-biased estimates of theoretically important effects, estimates of variability that can be used for later study planning, and a series of best-practices blueprints for future infancy research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Frank, MC; Bergelson, E; Bergmann, C; Cristia, A; Floccia, C; Gervain, J; Hamlin, JK; Hannon, EE; Kline, M; Levelt, C; Lew-Williams, C; Nazzi, T; Panneton, R; Rabagliati, H; Soderstrom, M; Sullivan, J; Waxman, S; Yurovsky, D

Published Date

  • July 1, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 421 - 435

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-7078

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1525-0008

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/infa.12182

Citation Source

  • Scopus