• Corpus ID: 2116515

HARKing : Hypothesizing After the Results are Known

  title={HARKing : Hypothesizing After the Results are Known},
  • L.
  • Published 2002
  • Psychology
This article considers a practice in scientific communication termed HARKing (Hypothesizing After the Results are Known). HARKing is defined as presenting a post hoc hypothesis (i.e., one based on or informed by one's results) in one's research report as if it were, in fact, an a priori hypotheses. Several forms of HARKing are identified and survey data are presented that suggests that at least some forms of HARKing are widely practiced and widely seen as inappropriate. I identify several… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

When Does HARKing Hurt? Identifying When Different Types of Undisclosed Post Hoc Hypothesizing Harm Scientific Progress

Hypothesizing after the results are known, or HARKing, occurs when researchers check their research results and then add or remove hypotheses on the basis of those results without acknowledging this

The Costs of HARKing

  • Mark Rubin
  • Psychology
    The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
  • 2022
Kerr ([1998]) coined the term ‘HARKing’ to refer to the practice of ‘hypothesizing after the results are known’. This questionable research practice has received increased attention in recent years

Harking, Sharking, and Tharking

In this editorial we discuss the problems associated with HARKing (Hypothesizing After Results Are Known) and draw a distinction between Sharking (Secretly HARKing in the Introduction section) and

Legal HARKing: theoretical grounding in interaction research

It is argued that a carefully constructed form of HARKing can be used systematically and transparently during exploratory research and can lead to more robust and ecologically valid theories.


In 2011, Diederik Stapel’s fraud was discovered. It turned out that not only did Stapel forge data but also journals failed to notice many obvious errors and encouraged distortions (e.g., not

Forgetting What We Learned as Graduate Students: HARKing and Selective Outcome Reporting in I–O Journal Articles

With an overarching concern on how trustworthy and accurate the accumulated scientific knowledge is in industrial– organizational (I–O) psychology research, Kepes and McDaniel (2013) discuss how

Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data: the case of psi: comment on Bem (2011).

It is concluded that Bem's p values do not indicate evidence in favor of precognition; instead, they indicate that experimental psychologists need to change the way they conduct their experiments and analyze their data.

PsychDisclosure.org: Grassroots Support for Reforming Reporting Standards in Psychology

There is currently an unprecedented level of doubt regarding the reliability of research findings in psychology. Many recommendations have been made to improve the current situation. In this article,


  • E. LebelD. Borsboom C. Smith
  • Psychology
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2013
It is argued that the time is now for mandatory methods disclosure statements for all psychology journals, which would be an important step forward in improving the reliability of findings in psychology.

Ignored evident multiplicity harms replicability -- adjusting for it offers a remedy

It is a central dogma in science that a result of a study should be replicable. Only 90 of the 190 replications attempts were successful. We attribute a substantial part of the problem to selective



HARKing: Hypothesizing After the Results are Known

  • N. Kerr
  • Psychology
    Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc
  • 1998
It is conceded that the question of whether HARKing's costs exceed its benefits is a complex one that ought to be addressed through research, open discussion, and debate.

Gergen Versus the Mainstream: Are Hypotheses in Social Psychology Subject to Empirical Test?

K. J. Gergen's (1982) argument that hypotheses in social psychology are not empirical propositions is critically examined and shown to be erroneous. Nevertheless, this article demonstrates that,

Under what conditions does theory obstruct research progress?

Researchers display confirmation bias when they persevere by revising procedures until obtaining a theory-predicted result. This strategy produces findings that are overgeneralized in avoidable ways,

Consequences of Prejudice Against the Null Hypothesis

The consequences of prejudice against accepting the null hypothesis were examined through (a) a mathematical model intended to stimulate the research-publication process and (b) case studies of

Probability and Evidence

A. J. Ayer was one of the foremost analytical philosophers of the twentieth century, and was known as a brilliant and engaging speaker. In essays based on his influential Dewey Lectures, Ayer

For the Article Writer...How to Win Acceptances by Psychology Journals: 21 Tips for Better Writing.

The price you pay for an ill-conceived or ineptly written article submitted to a psychological journal is one of the following: (a) express-mail receipt of a one-way ticket to the Bermuda Triangle

Reasons for confidence.

People are often overconfident in evaluating the correctness of their knowledge. The present studies investigated the possibility that assessment of confidence is biased by attempts to justify one's

On the Failure to Eliminate Hypotheses in a Conceptual Task

The results showed that those subjects, who reached two or more incorrect conclusions, were unable, or unwilling to test their hypotheses, and the implications are discussed in relation to scientific thinking.

Hindsight ≠ foresight: the effect of outcome knowledge on judgment under uncertainty*

It is argued that a lack of awareness of outcome knowledge can seriously restrict one’s ability to judge or learn from the past.