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You may also want to check out figure 2 of this paper which further illustrates the relationship between a statistical hypothesis and the research hypothesis: http://rhowell.ba.ttu.edu/Meehl1.pdf

> Ten years later, I wrote at greater length along similar lines (Meehl, 1978); but, despite my having received more than 1,000 reprint requests for that article in the first year after its appearance, I cannot discern that it had more impact on research habits in soft psychology than did Morrison and Henkel.

is the author using a null value to inform this perception?

Doesn't sound like it. It sounds like Meehl is giving an order of magnitude estimate. He is saying that it is his impression that both Morrison & Henkel's paper and his own seemed to have little effect on practice.

Clearly he doesn't think it had exactly zero effect, since it affected him!

assuming 1000 reprints somehow implies there should be a discernible 'impact on research habits' seems like an example of what your referenced Figure 2(o) calls 'Estimating parameters from sample'

(o) http://rhowell.ba.ttu.edu/Meehl1.pdf

You have it reversed.

"Estimating parameters from sample" (on the right) would be his observation that there was little discernible effect. Thinking that 1000 reprints of the paper would have a larger effect on practice would more correspond to "theory" (on the left), although that is a pretty vague one.

but where does the 1000 figure come from? it reads arbitrary

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