Rubin, Mark and Donkin, Chris (2022) 'Exploratory hypothesis tests can be more compelling than confirmatory hypothesis tests.', Philosophical Psychology .
Preregistration has been proposed as a useful method for making a publicly verifiable distinction between confirmatory hypothesis tests, which involve planned tests of ante hoc hypotheses, and exploratory hypothesis tests, which involve unplanned tests of post hoc hypotheses. This distinction is thought to be important because it has been proposed that confirmatory hypothesis tests provide more compelling results (less uncertain, less tentative, less open to bias) than exploratory hypothesis tests. In this article, we challenge this proposition and argue that there are several advantages of exploratory hypothesis tests that can make their results more compelling than those of confirmatory hypothesis tests. We also consider some potential disadvantages of exploratory hypothesis tests and conclude that their advantages can outweigh the disadvantages. We conclude that exploratory hypothesis tests avoid researcher commitment and researcher prophecy biases, reduce the probability of data fraud, are more appropriate in the context of unplanned deviations, facilitate inference to the best explanation, and allow peer reviewers to make additional contributions at the data analysis stage. In contrast, confirmatory hypothesis tests may lead to an inappropriate level of confidence in research conclusions, less appropriate analyses in the context of unplanned deviations, and greater bias and errors in theoretical inferences.
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|Publisher Web site:||https://doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2022.2113771|
|Publisher statement:||© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.|
|Date accepted:||11 August 2022|
|Date deposited:||31 August 2022|
|Date of first online publication:||26 August 2022|
|Date first made open access:||31 August 2022|
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