I’m a big fan of the work of Uri Simonsohn and his collaborators, but I don’t like the term “p-hacking” because it can be taken to imply an intention to cheat.
The image of p-hacking is of a researcher trying test after test on the data until reaching the magic “p less than .05.” But, as Eric Loken and I discuss in our paper on the garden of forking paths, multiple comparisons can be a problem, even when there is no “fishing expedition” or “p-hacking” and the research hypothesis was posited ahead of time.
I worry that the widespread use term “p-hacking” gives two wrong impressions: First, it implies that the many researchers who use p-values incorrectly are cheating or “hacking,” even though I suspect they’re mostly just misinformed; and, Second, it can lead honest but confused researchers to think that these p-value problems don’t concern them, since they don’t “p-hack.”
I prefer the term “garden of forking paths” because (a) it doesn’t sound like cheating is necessarily involved, and (b) it conveys the idea that the paths are all out there, which is essential to reasoning about p-values, which are explicit statements about what would’ve been done, had the data been different.
In the ideal world we wouldn’t be talking about any of this stuff; but, given that we are talking about it, I’d prefer we keep the insights of Simmons, Nelson, and Simonsohn but get rid of the term “p-hacking.”