Toward a replication culture: Speech production research in the classroom
Our understanding of human sound systems is increasingly shaped by experimental studies. What we can learn from a single study, however, is limited. It is of critical importance to evaluate and substantiate existing findings in the literature by directly replicating published studies. Our publication system, however, does not reward direct replications in the same way as it rewards novel discoveries. Consequently, there is a lack of incentives for researchers to spend resources on conducting replication studies, a situation that is particularly true for speech production experiments, which often require resourceful data collection procedures and recording environments. In order to sidestep this issue, we propose to run direct replication studies with our students in the classroom. This proposal offers an easy and inexpensive way to conduct large-scale replication studies and has valuable pedagogical advantages for our students. To illustrate the feasibility of this approach, we report on two classroom-based replication studies on incomplete neutralization, a speech phenomenon that has sparked many methodological debates in the past. We show that in our classroom studies, we not only replicated incomplete neutralization effects, but our studies yielded effect magnitudes comparable to laboratory experiments and meta analytical estimates. We discuss potential challenges to this approach and outline possible ways to help us substantiate our scientific record.
Published by the LSA with permission of the author(s) under a CC BY 3.0 license.