Date of this Version
Empirical results often hinge on data analytic decisions that are simultaneously defensible, arbitrary, and motivated. To mitigate this problem we introduce Specification-Curve Analysis, which consists of three steps: (i) identifying the set of theoretically justified, statistically valid, and non-redundant analytic specifications, (ii) displaying alternative results graphically, allowing the identification of decisions producing different results, and (iii) conducting statistical tests to determine whether as a whole results are inconsistent with the null hypothesis. We illustrate its use by applying it to three published findings. One proves robust, one weak, one not robust at all.
specification curve, p-hacking
Simonsohn, U., Simmons, J. P., & Nelson, L. D. (2015). Specification Curve: Descriptive and Inferential Statistics on All Reasonable Specifications. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2694998
Date Posted: 15 June 2018