Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Talk: Katrin Auspurg/Josef Brüderl (LMU)

Location: Ludwigstr. 31, ground floor, Room 021.

29.05.2019 16:00  – 18:00 


Is there a Credibility Crisis in Sociology?


Since several years, psychology has its so-called reproducibility/credibility crisis. In other disciplines this discussion has gained considerable momentum as well (e.g., economics and political science). In the first part of the talk we will illustrate that up to now there has not been much discussion on a potential credibility crisis in sociology. In the main part we will then show that there is also evidence for a low reproducibility of sociological research and we will discuss some theoretical work in the field of meta-sciences (e.g. theories on social dilemmas) to reflect possible reasons for the lack of a debate in sociology. The main argument will be that moral appeals alone will not do be sufficient to detect and overcome incredible science: we additionally need changes of institutions that increase the opportunities and incentives to re-analyze and replicate existing work (such as open science). From a theoretical perspective and taking the specific data structures in sociology into account, one also has to be very skeptical whether recent recommendations, such as “credibility scores,” will help overcoming the credibility crisis. We conclude with some alternative suggestions how to assess and improve the credibility of social science research.