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Science is in the midst of a crisis: A surprising fraction of published studies fail to replicate when the procedures are repeated.
For example, take the study, published in 2007, that claimed that tricky math problems requiring careful thought are easier to solve when presented in a fuzzy font. When researchers found in a small study that using a fuzzy font improved performance accuracy, it supported a claim that encountering perceptual challenges could induce people to reflect more carefully.
Attempts - Result - Claim - Graph - Studies
However, 16 attempts to replicate the result failed, definitively demonstrating that the original claim was erroneous. Plotted together on a graph, the studies formed a perfect bell curve centered around zero effect. As is frequently the case with failures to replicate, of the 17 total attempts, the original had both the smallest sample size and the most...
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