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Decline Effects

the tendency for the significance of scientific results to fade over time with repeated testing.


Bond, R., & Smith, P. B. (1996). Culture and conformity: A meta-analysis of studies using Asch’s (1952b, 1956) line judgment task. Psychological Bulletin119(1), 111.

Coyne, J. C., & de Voogd, J. N. (2012). Are we witnessing the decline effect in the Type D personality literature? What can be learned?. Journal of psychosomatic researcha, 73(6), 401-407.

Forwald, H. (1954). Chronological decline effect in a PK placement experiment. Journal of Parapsychology.

Fukuda, M., Fukuda, K., Shimizu, T., & Møller, H. (1998). Decline in sex ratio at birth after Kobe earthquake. Human Reproduction13(8), 2321-2322.

Groppe, D. M. (2017). Combating the scientific decline effect with confidence (intervals). Psychophysiology, 54(1), 139-145.

Haraldsson, E., & Houtkooper, J. M. (1995). Meta-analyses of 10 experiments on perceptual defensiveness and ESP: ESP scoring patterns and experimenter and decline effects. The Journal of Parapsychology, 59(3), 251.

Ioannidis, J. P. (2005). Contradicted and initially stronger effects in highly cited clinical research. JAMA294(2), 218-228.

Ioannidis, J. P. (1998). Effect of the statistical significance of results on the time to completion and publication of randomized efficacy trials. JAMA279(4), 281-286.

Ioannidis, J. P. (2008). Why most discovered true associations are inflated. Epidemiology19(5), 640-648.

Jennions, M. D., & Møller, A. P. (2002). Relationships fade with time: a meta-analysis of temporal trends in publication in ecology and evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences269(1486), 43-48.

Kelly, C. D., & Jennions, M. D. (2006). The h index and career assessment by numbers. Trends in Ecology & Evolution21(4), 167-170.

Lee, M. S., Flammer, A. J., & Lerman, A. (2013). The decline effect in cardiovascular medicine: is the effect of cardiovascular medicine and stent on cardiovascular events decline over the years?. Korean Circulation Journal43(7), 443-452.

Lehrer, J. (2010). The truth wears off. The New Yorker, 13(52), 229.

Palmer, A. R. (2002). Chimpanzee right‐handedness reconsidered: Evaluating the evidence with funnel plots. American Journal of Physical Anthropology,118(2), 191-199.

Palmer, A. R. (1999). Detecting publication bias in meta‐analyses: a case study of fluctuating asymmetry and sexual selection. The American Naturalist154(2), 220-233.

Palmer, A. R. (2000). Quasireplication and the contract of error: lessons from sex ratios, heritabilities and fluctuating asymmetry. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 441-480.

Reeves, M. P., & Rhine, J. B. (1943). The PK effect: II. A study in declines. Journal of Parapsychology.

Rhine, J. B. (1944). The PK effect: early single tests. Journal of Parapsychology.

Schooler, J. (2011). Unpublished results hide the decline effect. Nature,470(7335), 437.

Trikalinos, T. A., Churchill, R., Ferri, M., Leucht, S., Tuunainen, A., Wahlbeck, K., & Ioannidis, J. P. (2004). Effect sizes in cumulative meta-analyses of mental health randomized trials evolved over time. Journal of clinical Epidemiology,57(11), 1124-1130.

Webster, G. D., & Duffy, R. D. (2016). Losing faith in the intelligence–religiosity link: New evidence for a decline effect, spatial dependence, and mediation by education and life quality. Intelligence, 55, 15-27.


BPS invites readers to send (to krosnick@stanford.edu) relevant papers and links to add to this website.