Association for Research in Personality 2018 Elections
Below are statements we solicited from candidates running for the positions of Treasurer/Secretary or Member at Large (order within each category determined randomly).
If elected to the office of secretary/treasurer of the Association for Research in Personality, I would first work with ARP leadership to support ARP’s role in the SPPS consortium. I would advocate for the selection of editors who support open science practices and transparency. Second, I will work to support best practices training opportunities for graduate students, as well as to support reward structures that facilitate hiring opportunities for students who use best practices. Third, in my role supporting ARP’s biennial meeting, I will advocate for policies (e.g., blind review) that support selecting the highest quality research for presentation (while ignoring irrelevant status biases). ARP has been a leader in the open science movement, and I look forward to helping the society continue this leadership.
One of the most important things to recognize as a candidate for a position on the board of Association for Research in Personality is that ARP members are among the leading experts at the forefront of efforts towards transparency and open science not just in personality psychology but across the sciences. ARP’s history as a positive, collaborative community of scholars provides us with the continued opportunity lead by example in following and creating best practices as well as providing training on these important topics.
As a current member-at-large of ARP, I believe it is essential that the organization continue to promote best practices set out by the Transparency and Openness Promotion guidelines following the values of the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science. We can do this by continuing to support publication standards and conference programming that promotes these practices. We can also continue to support efforts of the training committee to deliver information on these best practices to the ARP membership.
At the same time as we follow current best practices, ARP has the opportunity innovate on emerging issues in crafting policy around transparency and openness. For example, experts in ARP can address special issues around transparency and openness in archival data analysis, narrative data, and informant ratings. ARP’s continued support of scholarship, conference programming, and active communication among members outside of conference programming around such topics is an essential component of the future of the organization.
Member at Large
Times are changing for psychological scientists, and with it we are seeing consequential changes in the path to career success. It is my hope that as a community, we can foster an environment that makes it easier for junior researchers to incorporate open science into their scientific practice — by recognizing, incentivizing and rewarding transparency. The responsibility of an individual researcher is to uphold their values in their own work; the responsibility of a society is to create a culture that facilitates upholding these values.
Among the developed open science practices, preregistration is one that I believe can be adapted most easily and with the smallest cost to researchers. I recognize that this practice seems unavailable to many. As a participant at SIPS, I helped to lead an unconference session on preregistration with secondary data analysis. Many who attended the session argued that preregistration was indeed possible, perhaps even necessary, for secondary data research. I agree with them and have since committed myself to a number of projects, including outlining guidelines for secondary data preregistration and developing a template through hack-a-thons at the SIPS preconference at SPSP2018 and an upcoming hack at SIPS2018. More importantly, I have committed myself to preregistering all studies, especially those using preexisting data, in my own work. I want to make this process easier for all personality researchers, regardless of methods or data type. I acknowledge that not every preregistration will have the qualities of the originally conceived prototype, nor can they safeguard against fraud. However, I do believe that engaging in good-faith steps like this can strengthen our field and shift our priorities away from significant results and towards solid methods.
As a member at large of ARP, I would advocate for the creation or collection of resources for preregistration and other open science practices. These resources should be freely available and easy to access for ARP members, especially students, postdocs and assistant professors. I would like to see opportunities for members to learn and practice open science through the society, through symposiums, workshops, or pre-conferences.
I would also advocate for the recognition of members who engage in these practices. Open science can be hard. In addition to recognizing quality publications, we should recognize feats of transparency. Our members should be rewarded if they make their code public, collect high-quality data and make it freely available for others, publish a registered report, study non-WEIRD samples, estimate the robustness of their findings, and more.
Finally, as a member at large of ARP, I would try to learn more. So much is changing so quickly when it comes to open science. If ARP wants to stay on the cutting edge of transparency and robustness, we need to be talking about new methods as they arise and not wait until the journals implement them. I would be proactive in learning about open science, especially from our own members. I would seek out conversations, in formal and informal settings, with members about the open science problems they encounter and how they want to fix them. I would proactively seek feedback on these and other issues, especially from our ECRs. Because, at the end of the day, I believe my responsibility as a member at large is to know what our members largely care about and advocate for them.
No response as of this time.
Richard W. Robins
No response as of this time.
I was asked by SIPS to explain (1) “what (if any) policies would you promote to improve research in psychology” and (2) “how would you support open science practices and research transparency at ARP and in the field of psychology more broadly?” I address my views and ideas on both goals below.
(1) Improving Research in Psychology
“Improving Psychological Research” is almost synonymous with engaging in open, transparent, and reproducible science (see my views on Point 2 below) – almost. There are many ways we can improve science together, and not all of them have to be implemented via formal policies. While I would surely work with the ARP and SIPS boards (and any other societies) and with the ARP members on implementing policies we all deem useful, my first goals would be to (a) engage in dialogs across the societies and members and (b) raise awareness for certain issues I think are generally neglected.
Goal a. There needs to be more productive cross-talk between open science enthusiasts, deniers, skeptics, and those in between. Also, we need to get a better hold of what society members (not just the executive boards) think about open science issues and policies. There needs to be a mutual understanding between different camps of thought, and I would like to facilitate gathering information, exchanging information, and then working together to make some lasting change (maybe in terms of implementing policies or maybe just in terms of raising awareness for issues or points of disagreement).
Goal b. Much discussion has been and still is focused on the replication of findings and what researchers may or may not do to ensure that. What I think is often lost is the importance of operationalization and measurement of psychological variables – something personality psychologists have unique expertise in and may thus help advise other disciplines. I deem raising awareness for how good ideas, theories, operationalizations, and measurement work together crucial to ensure more robust findings. Hopefully, these considerations in addition to all the good practices and solutions we have already cultivated can help overcome our “crisis” (which really is more of an opportunity for change than a crisis) and create better research across disciplines.
(2) Supporting Open Science at ARP and Beyond
I am a Center for Open Science Ambassador (https://cos.io/our-communities/become-ambassador/) and have signed commitments to exercising ideals of open science as an author (see my OSF profile: osf.io/kve89), reviewer (I ask for open materials, data, etc.), editor (I help implementing best practices in statistics and open science at journals where I edit), and mentor (I teach students in open science). It is clear that I am enthusiastic about open science, promote it publicly, and think the future of psychology lies in more transparency.
At the same time, as an ARP board member I would need to represent all of ARP and the diversity of ideals and perspectives within the society. One may be skeptical of open science practices for different reasons. For example, some may have ethical concerns of sharing data openly, while others may worry that open access journals (often referred to as the future of publishing) incurs article processing charges that put researchers in certain career stages, institutions, or countries at a disadvantage and thus actually reduces diversity.
I want to be sensitive to the voices of concern, skepticism, and ambiguity, and I want us all to engage in a productive dialog. It is of vital importance that open science is not seen as a temporary fad or, worse, an exercise that only some elite groups aspire to or try to force upon others (I have heard these thoughts first-hand before). That is why I want to listen, try to resolve misunderstandings, and work together – across societal boundaries and people of different opinions – on implementing policies that (a) we all (or at least the vast majority of us) can stand behind and (b) further improve the practices of our field so that we are really building a strong cumulative science. This will no doubt require sensitivity and compromising – and I am up for that challenge.