The construct-behavior gap revisited: Reply to Hertwig and Pleskac (2018)

Michel Regenwetter, Maria M. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


The most eye-catching feature of Hertwig and Pleskac's (2018) comment is their virtual silence about Regenwetter and Robinson's (2017) core message. Regenwetter and Robinson warn of a logical disconnect between some psychological constructs and certain types of theoretical predictions about human behavior. Scientific "predictions" that do not actually follow from the underlying theory can, in turn, lead to completely uninformative behavioral measures. Regenwetter and Robinson trace this construct-behavior gap to logical reasoning fallacies that seem common in behavioral decision research. They also document how a logically flawed line of scientific reasoning is often immune to discovery by replication. Hence, 'successful' replication can perpetuate unwarranted conclusions and, consequently, obfuscate science. Hertwig and Pleskac's commentary is striking in that it says almost nothing about the construct-behavior gap, it barely touches on logical reasoning fallacies, and it ignores Regenwetter and Robinson's core warning that replication and repetition of unsubstantiated conclusions hinder science. In this reply, we also point out errors and misinterpretations in Hertwig and Pleskac's commentary, and we rebut alleged problems with Regenwetter and Robinson's approach and findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-454
Number of pages4
JournalPsychological review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Construct-behavior gap
  • Reasoning fallacies
  • Replication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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