Conceptual Replications - Guidelines for implementation and factors influencing replicability across different fields in psychology


For several years, a "replication crisis" has been discussed in multiple domains of science, as many studies could not be confirmed by replication. The project "ConRep" investigates factors that influence the replicability of research results. As a methodological project, the aim is to provide an overview of factors that influence replicability across disciplines and to provide guidelines for conducting systematic replication studies.


In particular, disciplinary challenges for replication studies are of interest, with regard to different psychological disciplines that are in the focus of the replication crisis (social psychology, cognitive psychology, educational psychology). Primary project concepts address the development, evaluation, and interdisciplinary comparison of design and analysis techniques for studying replication factors.


The project is integrated into the DFG priority program SPP 2317: A Metascientific Program for the Analysis and Optimization of Replicability in the Behavioral, Social, and Cognitive Sciences (META-REP).


Conceptual replications are conducted to test the stability of research results under altered study conditions. The focus is on the question of whether modifications in the study design critically influence the results.


Requirements for the systematic design of replication studies have been proposed, for instance, by The National Science Foundation and The Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education (2018). However systematic variation of study factors has seldom been put to practice. The causal replication framework (CRF) of Vivian Wong (University of Virginia) and Peter Steiner (University of Maryland) provides a general theoretical basis and guidance for designing replication studies. Detailed information on the framework, on design-based replication approaches, as well as on analysis techniques to ensure and test CRF assumptions can be found on the website Collaboratory Replication Lab ( So far, the CRF was applied for conceptual replications in educational psychology. In collaboration with these efforts, we make the CRF applicable to various disciplines and provide hands-on example studies as well as guidelines, in order to bridge the gap between the theoretical CRF, the methodological tools, and the application in substantive fields.



  • Review on current practices: Overview on factors varied in conceptual replications:
  • Study set up and Preregistration:
  • Implementation and data management: Realization of the replication studies
  • Data analysis and summary of empirical results: Investigation on factors for effect heterogeneity within and across disciplines
  • Derivation of Guidelines: Meta-perspective on design and analysis methods for conceptual replications
  • Dissemination of Project Results: Workshops and online material


Project profile

  • Project head at LIfBi: Dr. Marie-Ann Sengewald
  • Applicants:

Dr. Marie-Ann Sengewald / LIfBi

Prof. Dr. Steffi Pohl / Freie Universität Berlin

Prof. Dr. Anne Gast / University of Cologne

Dr. Mathias Twardawski / LMU Munich



Dr.  Marie-Ann  Sengewald

+49 951 863-3678