Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 22 (4), 421-435

A Collaborative Approach to Infant Research: Promoting Reproducibility, Best Practices, and Theory-Building


A Collaborative Approach to Infant Research: Promoting Reproducibility, Best Practices, and Theory-Building

Michael C Frank et al. Infancy.


The ideal of scientific progress is that we accumulate measurements and integrate these into theory, but recent discussion of replicability issues has cast doubt on whether psychological research conforms to this model. Developmental research-especially with infant participants-also has discipline-specific replicability challenges, including small samples and limited measurement methods. Inspired by collaborative replication efforts in cognitive and social psychology, we describe a proposal for assessing and promoting replicability in infancy research: large-scale, multi-laboratory replication efforts aiming for a more precise understanding of key developmental phenomena. The ManyBabies project, our instantiation of this proposal, will not only help us estimate how robust and replicable these phenomena are, but also gain new theoretical insights into how they vary across ages, linguistic communities, and measurement methods. This project has the potential for a variety of positive outcomes, including less-biased estimates of theoretically important effects, estimates of variability that can be used for later study planning, and a series of best-practices blueprints for future infancy research.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Meta-analysis of infant-directed speech (IDS) preference, modified from Points show individual studies, with point size showing N. Line shows an inverse-variance weighted local regression.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Funnel plot showing the relationship between standard error and effect size for studies of infant-directed speech (IDS) preference, modified from Individual dots represent studies. Larger and smaller funnel boundaries show 99% and 95% thresholds, respectively. Dotted line shows the mean effect size from a random-effects meta analytic model.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 2 articles

  • The Psychological Science Accelerator: Advancing Psychology through a Distributed Collaborative Network.
    Moshontz H, Campbell L, Ebersole CR, IJzerman H, Urry HL, Forscher PS, Grahe JE, McCarthy RJ, Musser ED, Antfolk J, Castille CM, Evans TR, Fiedler S, Flake JK, Forero DA, Janssen SMJ, Keene JR, Protzko J, Aczel B, Solas SÁ, Ansari D, Awlia D, Baskin E, Batres C, Borras-Guevara ML, Brick C, Chandel P, Chatard A, Chopik WJ, Clarance D, Coles NA, Corker KS, Dixson BJW, Dranseika V, Dunham Y, Fox NW, Gardiner G, Garrison SM, Gill T, Hahn AC, Jaeger B, Kačmár P, Kaminski G, Kanske P, Kekecs Z, Kline M, Koehn MA, Kujur P, Levitan CA, Miller JK, Okan C, Olsen J, Oviedo-Trespalacios O, Özdoğru AA, Pande B, Parganiha A, Parveen N, Pfuhl G, Pradhan S, Ropovik I, Rule NO, Saunders B, Schei V, Schmidt K, Singh MM, Sirota M, Steltenpohl CN, Stieger S, Storage D, Sullivan GB, Szabelska A, Tamnes CK, Vadillo MA, Valentova JV, Vanpaemel W, Varella MAC, Vergauwe E, Verschoor M, Vianello M, Voracek M, Williams GP, Wilson JP, Zickfeld JH, Arnal JD, Aydin B, Chen SC, DeBruine LM, Fernandez AM, Horstmann KT, Isager PM, Jones B, Kapucu A, Lin H, Mensink MC, Navarrete G, Silan MA, Chartier CR. Moshontz H, et al. Adv Methods Pract Psychol Sci. 2018 Dec;1(4):501-515. doi: 10.1177/2515245918797607. Epub 2018 Oct 1. Adv Methods Pract Psychol Sci. 2018. PMID: 31886452 Free PMC article.
  • Eurosibs: Towards robust measurement of infant neurocognitive predictors of autism across Europe.
    Jones EJH, Mason L, Begum Ali J, van den Boomen C, Braukmann R, Cauvet E, Demurie E, Hessels RS, Ward EK, Hunnius S, Bolte S, Tomalski P, Kemner C, Warreyn P, Roeyers H, Buitelaar J, Falck-Ytter T, Charman T, Johnson MH; Eurosibs Team. Jones EJH, et al. Infant Behav Dev. 2019 Nov;57:101316. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2019.03.007. Epub 2019 May 22. Infant Behav Dev. 2019. PMID: 31128517 Free PMC article. Clinical Trial.

LinkOut - more resources