Publication prejudices: An experimental study of confirmatory bias in the peer review system
- Michael J. Mahoney
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Confirmatory bias is the tendency to emphasize and believe experiences which support one's views and to ignore or discredit those which do not. The effects of this tendency have been repeatedly documented in clinical research. However, its ramifications for the behavior of scientists have yet to be adequately explored. For example, although publication is a critical element in determining the contribution and impact of scientific findings, little research attention has been devoted to the variables operative in journal review policies. In the present study, 75 journal reviewers were asked to referee manuscripts which described identical experimental procedures but which reported positive, negative, mixed, or no results. In addition to showing poor interrater agreement, reviewers were strongly biased against manuscripts which reported results contrary to their theoretical perspective. The implications of these findings for epistemology and the peer review system are briefly addressed.
- Adams, J. A.Human memory. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967.
- American Psychological Association.Standards for educational and psychological tests and manuals. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 1966.
- Bacon, F.Novum organum. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1960. (Originally published, 1621.)
- Beck, A. T.Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: International Universities Press, 1976.
- Caplow, T., & McGee, R. J.The academic marketplace. New York: Basic Books, 1958.
- Cole, J. R., & Cole, S.Social stratification in science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973.
- Deci, E. L. Effects of externally mediated rewards on intrinsic motivation.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1971,18 105–115.
- Deci, E. L. Intrinsic motivation, extrinsic reinforcement, and inequity.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1972,22 113–130.
- Dixon, B.What is science for? New York: Harper & Row, 1973.
- Hagstrom, W. O.The scientific community. New York: Basic Books, 1965.
- Kintsch, W.Learning, memory, and conceptual processes. New York: Wiley, 1970.
- Lakatos, I., & Musgrave, A. (Eds.),Criticism and the growth of knowledge. London: Cambridge University Press, 1970.
- Lepper, M. R., Greene, D., & Nisbett, R. E. Undermining children's intrinsic interest with extrinsic reward: A test of the “overjustification” hypothesis.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1973,28 129–137.
- Levine, F. M., & Fasnacht, G. Token rewards may lead to token learning.American Psychologist 1974,29 814–820.
- Mahoney, M. J.Cognition and behavior modification. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger, 1974.
- Mahoney, M. J.Scientist as subject: The psychological imperative. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger, 1976.
- Mahoney, M. J., & DeMonbreun, B. G. Confirmatory bias in scientists and non-scientists.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 1977 (in press).
- Mahoney, M. J., Kazdin, A. E., & Kenigsberg, M.Getting published: The effects of self-citation and institutional affiliation. Unpublished manuscript, Pennsylvania State University, 1975.
- Mahoney, M. J., & Kimper, T. P. From ethics to logic: A survey of scientists. In M. J. Mahoney,Scientist as subject. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger, 1976. Pp. 187–193.
- Merton, R. K.Social theory and social structure. New York: Free Press, 1968.
- Neisser, V.Cognitive psychology. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1967.
- Norman, D. A.Memory and attention. New York: Wiley, 1969.
- Popper, K. R.Objective knowledge: An evaluative approach. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.
- Raimy, V.Misunderstandings of the self. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1975.
- Weimer, W. B.Psychology and the conceptual foundations of science. Hillsdale, New Jersey; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1977.
- Ziman, J.Public knowledge: The social dimension of science. London: Cambridge University Press, 1968.
- Zuckerman, H. Stratification in American science.Sociological Inquiry 1970,40 235–257.
- Zuckerman, H., & Merton, R. K. Patterns of evaluation in science: Institutionalization, structure and functions of the referee system.Minerva 1971,9 66–100.
- Publication prejudices: An experimental study of confirmatory bias in the peer review system
Cognitive Therapy and Research
Volume 1, Issue 2 , pp 161-175
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Pennsylvania State University, USA