Does expertise matter in replication? An examination of the reproducibility project: Psychology Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 A recent article reported difficulty in replicating psychological findings and that training and other moderators were relatively unimportant in predicting replication effect sizes. Using an objective measure of research expertise (number of publications), we found that expertise predicted larger replication effect sizes. The effect sizes selected and obtained by high-expertise replication teams was nearly twice as large as that obtained by low-expertise teams, particularly in replications of social psychology effects. Surprisingly, this effect seemed to be explained by experts choosing studies to replicate that had larger original effect sizes. There was little evidence that expertise predicted avoiding red flags (i.e. the troubling trio) or studies that varied in execution difficulty. However, experts did choose studies that were less context sensitive. Our results suggest that experts achieve greater replication success, in part, because they choose more robust and generalizable studies to replicate.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 31.18

author list (cited authors)

  • Bench, S. W., Rivera, G. N., Schlegel, R. J., Hicks, J. A., & Lench, H. C.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Bench, Shane W||Rivera, Grace N||Schlegel, Rebecca J||Hicks, Joshua A||Lench, Heather C

publication date

  • January 2017