Intellectual humility – a recognition that one’s beliefs might be wrong – is a core value of science. However, the so-called ‘replicability crisis’ and ensuing credibility revolution in science suggests that scientists have sometimes overestimated the robustness of their results and the rigor of their methods. In this project, we will examine intellectual humility in a field at the eye of the replicability storm: psychology. We will examine three big questions: 1) Do scientists’ self-reports of intellectual humility track peer reports and behavioral indicators (e.g., making calibrated claims, avoiding errors, updating their beliefs when new evidence comes out), 2) Does the intellectual humility of a scientific work predict greater or less impact of that work within and outside of the scientific community? And 3) Have published findings in psychology increased in intellectual humility since before the credibility revolution? We will collect questionnaire data and code features of published articles over 12 years in social and personality psychology to test these questions. This project will help shed light on whether scientists value intellectual humility, as manifested in their behavior, and will examine whether the incentive structure rewards expressions of intellectual humility or arrogance. Finally, we believe the credibility revolution is a potentially powerful natural intervention for promoting intellectual humility. Understanding whether psychological scientists’ practices have changed during this revolution will shed light on how intellectual humility can (or cannot) be influenced. We hope our results will draw attention to the behavioral indicators of intellectual humility, and how researchers, science journalists, and members of the public can take intellectual humility into account when evaluating scientific claims. This could help restore confidence in science and help avert future crises of confidence.
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