What the replication crisis means for intervention science

Frank G. Hillary, John D. Medaglia

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The provocative paper by Ioannidis (2005) claiming that “most research findings are false” re-ignited longstanding concerns (see Meehl, 1967) that findings in the behavioral sciences are unlikely to be replicated. Then, a landmark paper by Nosek et al. (2015a) substantiated this conjecture, showing that, study reproducibility in psychology hovers at 40%. With the unfortunate failure of clinical trials in brain injury and other neurological disorders, it may be time to reconsider approaches not only in clinical interventions, but also how we establish their efficacy. A scientific community galvanized by a history of failed clinical trials and motivated by this “crisis” may be at critical cross-roads for change engendering a culture of transparent, open science where the primary goal is to test and not support hypotheses about specific interventions. The outcome of this scientific introspection could be a paradigm shift that accelerates our science bringing investigators closer to important advancements in rehabilitation medicine. In this commentary we offer a brief summary of how open science, study pre-registration and reorganization of scientific incentive structure could advance the clinical sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-5
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
StatePublished - Aug 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)


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