Tobias Wingen, Jana Berkessel, Birte Englich
No Replication, no Trust? How Low Replicability Influences Trust in Psychology

Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2020: 11, issue 2, pp. 454–463
ISSN: 1948-5506 (print); 1948-5514 (online)

In the current psychological debate, low replicability of psychological findings is a central topic. While the discussion about the replication crisis has a huge impact on psychological research, we know less about how it impacts public trust in psychology. In this article, we examine whether low replicability damages public trust and how this damage can be repaired. Studies 1–3 provide correlational and experimental evidence that low replicability reduces public trust in psychology. Additionally, Studies 3–5 evaluate the effectiveness of commonly used trust-repair strategies such as information about increased transparency (Study 3), explanations for low replicability (Study 4), or recovered replicability (Study 5). We found no evidence that these strategies significantly repair trust. However, it remains possible that they have small but potentially meaningful effects, which could be detected with larger samples. Overall, our studies highlight the importance of replicability for public trust in psychology.