Vol 8, Issue 2, May 2021

Replications in Comparative Psychology


Halina, M. (2021). Replications in comparative psychology. Animal Behavior and Cognition, 8(2), 263-272. https://doi.org/10.26451/abc.


In order to assess the status of replications in comparative psychology, it is important to clarify what constitutes a replicated experiment. In this paper, I adopt the Resampling Account of replication recently advanced by the philosopher Edouard Machery. I apply this account to a particular area of comparative psychology: nonhuman primate theory of mind research. Two key findings emerge from this analysis. First, under the account of replication advanced here, genuine replications are common in comparative psychology. Second, different types of replications offer different epistemic benefits to researchers. This second finding diverges from Machery’s view, but provides insight into how the Resampling Account works in practice. I conclude that community-level change is needed in order to promote a wide range of replications and their associated diversity of epistemic benefits.


Replication, Theory of mind, Comparative psychology, Great apes, the Resampling Account