Psychologists are open to change, yet wary of rules

Heather M. Fuchs, Mirjam Jenny, Susann Fiedler

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Psychologists must change the way they conduct and report their research—this notion has been the topic of much debate in recent years. One article recently published in Psychological Science proposing six requirements for researchers concerning data collection and reporting practices as well as four guidelines for reviewers aimed at improving the publication process has recently received much attention (Simmons, Nelson, & Simonsohn, 2011). We surveyed 1,292 psychologists to address two questions: Do psychologists support these concrete changes to data collection, reporting, and publication practices, and if not, what are their reasons? Respondents also indicated the percentage of print and online journal space that should be dedicated to novel studies and direct replications as well as the percentage of published psychological research that they believed would be confirmed if direct replications were conducted. We found that psychologists are generally open to change. Five requirements for researchers and three guidelines for reviewers were supported as standards of good practice, whereas one requirement was even supported as a publication condition. Psychologists appear to be less in favor of mandatory conditions of publication than standards of good practice. We conclude that the proposal made by Simmons, Nelson & Simonsohn (2011) is a starting point for such standards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639 - 642
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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