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Pseudoclarity on whether/how pseudoreplication is a pseudoproblem

Wading into the depths:

schankPseudoreplication is a pseudoproblem,” Jeffrey C. Schank [pictured here], Thomas J. Koehnle,  Journal of Comparative Psychology, vol 123(4), Nov 2009, pp. 421-433. The authors explain:

“Pseudoreplication is one of the most influential methodological issues in ecological and animal behavior research today. At its inception, the idea of pseudoreplication highlighted important concerns about the design and analysis of experiments in ecology. The doctrine purported to provide a unified view of experimental design and analysis, wherein precise criteria could be used to assess manuscripts and research proposals for acceptance or rejection. Few methodological doctrines have had as much impact as pseudoreplication, yet there has been very little critical analysis of it. In this paper, the authors extend the growing criticism of the concept of pseudoreplication.”

tom-j-koehnleCo-author Koehnle says:

“Why bother with any of this stuff? First, there is a basic scientific need to predict and understand how animals learn about what is happening inside their bodies and adjust their behavior to cope. Second, my focus on bodies, brains, and behavior is nested within a concern about intermediate timescales: integrating information over hours to months of experience. This scale of events has been rather neglected in research. Finally, alterations in the anatomy and function of interoceptive brain circuits have been linked to an array of psychiatric disorders in humans, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and functional bowel disorders.”

Improbable Research