US studies may overestimate effect sizes in softer research

Last modified: May 10, 2017

In behavioural studies methods are less standardized and therefore the risk of bias might be increased compared to non-behavioural and non-human behaviour studies. Additionally, previous studies showed a larger publication bias among papers from the US, which is believed to be a result of the systems of publication and career evaluation. The authors focussed on meta-analyses in the subject categories Psychiatry and Genetics & Heredity. They divided the primary effect sizes by the summary effects size of it’s meta-analysis. More extreme effects were reported in behavioural studies, and a deviation towards the direction predicted by the experimental hypothesis was more likely for those with a corresponding author from the US.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1302997110
 

Publication

Title: US studies may overestimate effect sizes in softer research
Authors: Fanelli D, Ioannidis JPA
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1302997110 (2013)

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