Get access

How Trustworthy Is the Scientific Literature in Industrial and Organizational Psychology?


  • This focal article has benefited from feedback provided by several colleagues.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Sven Kepes.


Address: Virginia Commonwealth University, 301 West Main Street, PO Box 844000, Richmond, VA 23284


The trustworthiness of research findings has been questioned in many domains of science. This article calls for a review of the trustworthiness of the scientific literature in industrial–organizational (I–O) psychology and a reconsideration of common practices that may harm the credibility of our literature. We note that most hypotheses in I–O psychology journals are confirmed. Thus, we are either approaching omniscience or our journals are publishing an unrepresentative sample of completed research. We view the latter explanation as more likely. We review structural problems in the publication process and in the conduct of research that is likely to promote a distortion of scientific knowledge. We then offer recommendations to make the I–O literature more accurate and trustworthy.