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Constraints on generality statements are needed to define direct replication

  • Daniel J. Simons (a1), Yuichi Shoda (a2) and D. Stephen Lindsay (a3)


Whether or not a replication attempt counts as “direct” often cannot be determined definitively after the fact as a result of flexibility in how procedural differences are interpreted. Specifying constraints on generality in original articles can eliminate ambiguity in advance, thereby leading to a more cumulative science.



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Henrich, J., Heine, S. J. & Norenzayan, A. (2010) Most people are not WEIRD. Nature 466(7302):29.
Kahneman, D. (2014) A new etiquette for replication. Social Psychology 45(4):310–11.
Simons, D. J., Shoda, Y. & Lindsay, D. S. (2017) Constraints on generality (COG): A proposed addition to all empirical papers. Perspectives on Psychological Science 12:1123–28. Available at:


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