The Effect of Preregistration on Trust in Empirical Research Findings: Results of a Registered Report

Sarahanne M. Field*, E.-J. Wagenmakers, Henk A. L. Kiers, Rink Hoekstra, Anja F. Ernst, Don van Ravenzwaaij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The crisis of confidence has undermined the trust that researchers place in the findings of their peers. In order to increase trust in research, initiatives such as preregistration have been suggested, which aim to prevent various questionable research practices. As it stands, however, no empirical evidence exists that preregistration does increase perceptions of trust. The picture may be complicated by a researcher's familiarity with the author of the study, regardless of the preregistration status of the research. This registered report presents an empirical assessment of the extent to which preregistration increases the trust of 209 active academics in the reported outcomes, and how familiarity with another researcher influences that trust. Contrary to our expectations, we report ambiguous Bayes factors and conclude that we do not have strong evidence towards answering our research questions. Our findings are presented along with evidence that our manipulations were ineffective for many participants, leading to the exclusion of 68% of complete datasets, and an underpowered design as a consequence. We discuss other limitations and confounds which may explain why the findings of the study deviate from a previously conducted pilot study. We reflect on the benefits of using the registered report submission format in light of our results. The OSF page for this registered report and its pilot can be found here:
Original languageEnglish
Article number181351
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2020


  • preregistration
  • registered reporting
  • trustworthiness
  • questionable research practice

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