The Scientific Revolution (another #SIPS2019 post)

I didn’t know about the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science until earlier this year. A friend casually mentioned it while we were working in a coffee shop. “This summer might be busy; I’m applying to get this grant to go to the Netherlands.”

This is where I perked up. I spent the fall of 2017 in Maastricht, in the bottom tip of the Netherlands. I wrote about some of that here. As an American who wasn’t really taught geography, I didn’t know anything about the country or why anyone would go but I ended up falling in love with the place. I thought about the chance to go back with pure excitement and decided I would look into this SIPS thing.

Well, I looked into SIPS and was amazed. It’s a new(ish) group of scientists, mostly social and personality psychologists, who are trying to change the way we research. The replication crisis cast many doubts upon the work of scholars, so what do we do to fix it?

Among other things, this group works to:
-Advocate for “open science” practices, such as posting data and code for each study
-Limit publication bias through registered reports and replication journals
-Teach people what the results from studies do and do not mean

Basically this group is changing the world.

But don’t get me wrong- this is a little bit terrifying. My imposter syndrome screams “Don’t let them see you have no idea what you’re doing! One look at your messy code and it’ll be the end of your career!”

However, it’s now or never. This is how science of the future will be and it’s important to jump on this train and learn to navigate as a doctoral student. I can’t imagine the next few decades going well for those who refuse to share.

I also know that this is important for decreasing gate keeping. How much faster could I learn how to scrape Twitter and run a content analysis if I have both the code and the publication in my hands? It’s not an abstract concept from a textbook- it’s a topic that I know and desire to learn. When the higher education bubble in the US bursts, people will look to these documents to learn.

Get a group of motivated folks with an internet connection and advanced modeling no longer becomes the secret tool of the elite. That I like. More on other great #SIPS2019 bits in this post.


P.S.- Please read this “I hate open science” post from Tal Yarkoni.

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