Aydin Mohseni
University of Pittsburgh
The practice of HARKing---hypothesizing after results are known---is commonly maligned as undermining the reliability of scientific findings. There are several accounts in the literature as to why HARKing undermines the reliability of findings. We argue that none of these is right and that the correct account is a Bayesian one. HARKing can indeed decrease the reliability of scientific findings, but it can also increase it; which effect HARKing produces depends on the difference of the prior odds of hypotheses characteristically selected ex ante and ex post to observing data. Further, we show how misdiagnosis of HARKing can lead to misprescription in the context of the replication crisis.
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The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.

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