PhilSci Archive

Generalization Bias in Science

Peters, Uwe and Krauss, Alex and Braganza, Oliver (2022) Generalization Bias in Science. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
Peters et al. (Pen) Final Cog Sci .pdf

Download (402kB) | Preview

Abstract

Many scientists routinely generalize from study samples to larger populations. It is commonly assumed that this cognitive process of scientific induction is a voluntary inference in which researchers assess the generalizability of their data and then draw conclusions accordingly. Here we challenge this view and argue for a novel account. The account describes scientific induction as involving by default a generalization bias that operates automatically and frequently leads researchers to unintentionally generalize their findings without sufficient evidence. The result is unwarranted, overgeneralized conclusions. We support this account of scientific induction by integrating a range of disparate findings from across the cognitive sciences that have until now not been connected to research on the nature of scientific induction. The view that scientific induction involves by default a generalization bias calls for a revision of our current thinking about scientific induction and highlights an overlooked cause of the replication crisis in the sciences. Commonly proposed interventions to tackle scientific overgeneralizations that may feed into this crisis need to be supplemented with cognitive debiasing strategies to most effectively improve science.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Peters, Uwe
Krauss, Alex
Braganza, Oliver
Keywords: scientific induction; overgeneralization; bounded cognition; generalization bias; replication crisis
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Judgment and Decision Making
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Learning and Memory
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Dr. Uwe Peters
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2022 18:27
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2022 18:27
Item ID: 21027
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Judgment and Decision Making
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Learning and Memory
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Social Psychology
Date: 7 August 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21027

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item