Which X-Phi Studies Replicate?


“Different types of experimental philosophy studies showed radically different rates of replicability,” according to a new analysis by the XPhi Replicability Project.

The investigators sorted experimental philosophy studies into three types:

  • Content-Based Studies: “participants receive hypothetical cases that differ in some systematic way.” (Represented by circles on the graph below.)
  • Individual difference studies: “all participants receive the same case, but the researchers observe a difference between the way different types of participants respond to it.” (Represented by triangles on the graph below.)
  • Context-based studies: “all participants receive the same question, but the experiment manipulates some other factor in the situation that might impact people’s answers.” (Represented by squares on the graph below.)

The investigators write:

As you can easily see [on the following graph], the majority of experimental philosophy studies are content-based, and these studies show very high rates of replicability. A minority are either individual difference studies or context-based studies, and studies of these other types often fail to replicate.

Further details, including links to the full replication information for each of the listed papers, is here.

(via Jonathan Phillips)

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