The articles in the present special section highlight four ways in which our applications of methods, and their harmonization with theory, can hold us back, and each offers an avenue for improvement that brings us closer to our goal of building a cumulative scientific record of the study of addiction. It brings together four articles that are intended to provide new ideas and directions for research on addictive behaviors. It is important for researchers to consider how their study designs, measurements, and statistical tests are specific expressions of the theories they wish to test. Each article illustrates a dimension of the gaps between theory and methods, provides an illustrated example of how to bridge those gaps, and provides easy to follow advice for how to apply these ideas in our own work. By designing for replication (Pearson et al., 2021), considering model-theory harmonization (Littlefield et al., 2021), moving toward plain language interpretation of effects (Halvorson et al., 2021), and thinking of models across levels of analysis (Soyster et al., 2021), we can move toward a more robust, replicable, and impactful science of addictive behaviors.
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