Is preregistration worthwhile?

More Information

Elise Kalokerinos

Proponents of preregistration argue that, among other benefits, it improves the diagnosticity of statistical tests. In the strong version of this argument, preregistration does this by solving statistical problems, such as family-wise error rates. In the weak version, it nudges people to think more deeply about their theories, methods, and analyses. We argue against both: the diagnosticity of statistical tests depend entirely on how well statistical models map onto underlying theories, and so improving statistical techniques does little to improve theories when the mapping is weak. There is also little reason to expect that preregistration will spontaneously help researchers to develop better theories (and, hence, better methods and analyses)

Speaker Bio

Chris Donkin is a cognitive psychologist at UNSW. He is interested in decision making, memory, models, and metascience. This talk is largely the result of many conversations with a (soon to be ex-)PhD student, Aba Szollosi (

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Zoom link available via MSPS School Colloquium mailing list. To be added to this list or for the link to this talk, please email Dr. Elise Kalokerinos.