come say hi at SPSP – coffee, sugar, and climate change – open and reproducible science

This week, at the society for personality and social psychology’s annual convention, I’m speaking in a symposium, rethinking health behavior change. I will talk about a study in which we* tested strategies to help people reduce the amount of sweetener added to their daily coffee (ideally without reducing enjoyment of it**). I’m also presenting a poster on how people talk to others about making behavioral changes that affect the environment.

One thing that excites me about these studies–they represent my first (admittedly clumsy) attempts at being completely reproducible and open with my science. Datasets, R analysis scripts, hypotheses, and all other study materials are publicly available***, and were preregistered****.

Openness and reproducibility in science fascinate me—both as a topic of research and as a guiding principle for my own research. Since starting graduate school, I have preregistered (nearly) all of my studies and have been working toward making the entire process transparent. I’ve also been learning how to write reproducible code in R. It has been challenging… you know, for the obvious reasons… misaligned incentives, human fallibility, complexity, and time. BUT, I’ve learned a lot (i think*****), and it has made me a better scientist (i think******). If nothing else, I can now make these cool graphs (below) for conference talks (and next time I won’t have to spend way too much time trying to make them look pretty*******).

Psych friends, come say hi at SPSP. Here’s the time and location for my talk and poster (and related scripts and files, here and here). Or, let’s just get a drink.

*me, Traci Mann, and Tim (our coffee connoisseur collaborator).

**that’s the hard part… sugar is yummy.

*** public project pages for the “coffee study” and “social message framing study” (the one climate change).

****an uneditable public archive of the study plan that is time-stamped prior to collecting (or looking at) data.

*****i welcome feedback and comments (particular on my R code). let me know if you find errors or have suggestions for improvement.

******hard to test empirically. though I’m pretty darn sure reproducibility and openness make Science better.

*******the beauty of reproducible code.

Sneak peek at SPSP presentation figures.


^Here’s the code (viewable in any web browser).


^Here’s the code.

p.s. HT to Simine Vazire whose blog inspired the above footnote style. #usefulbloghack.

impression management and open science

I love this Charles H. Cooley (1902, p. 320) quote on how self-presentational concerns have institutional and professional forms (including in science, gasp!)

If we never tried to seem a little better than we are, how could we improve or “train ourselves from the outside inward?” And the same impulse to show the world a better or idealized aspect of ourselves finds an organized expression in the various professions and classes, each of which has to some extent a cant or pose, which its members assume unconsciously, for the most part, but which has the effect of a conspiracy to work upon the credulity of the rest of the world. There is a cant not only of theology and of philanthropy, but also of law, medicine, teaching, even of science—perhaps especially of science, just now, since the more a particular kind of merit is recognized and admired, the more it is likely to be assumed by the unworthy.

The unveiling of fraudulent research among highly acclaimed scientists along with the advent of new computing and archiving technologies has driven a recent (depending on how you measure it) push from within the scientific community for more “open” practices. The debate around open science and reluctance in adopting its practices are rarely discussed in terms of interpersonal processes. However, discussions of open science are discussions about the presentation of scientific research to other scientists and the public. I think the relevance of impression management processes to calls for more openness in science is an area worth exploring in more detail. I’d like to write more on this, please post in the comments if you know of anyone who has written on this topic.


Coole, C.H. (1902). Human nature and the social order. New York, NY: C. Scribner’s sons.

links that tickled me



Links That Tickled Me

  1. Call for openness to replication is priming research.
  2. What did Malcolm Gladwell actually say about the 10,000 hour rule.
  3. Daniel Kahneman’s letter to behavior priming scientists.
  4. Brushing your mind. Strange concept. What is it?
  5. Social Psychology’s last mile problem. SPARQ’s online database of social psych interventions.
  6. FvieThirtyEight chimes in on  e-cigarettes.

Links That Tickled Me

  1. Are e-cigarettes a game changer?

    Clownified Ads

    Clownified Ads

  2. The Center for Open Science at SPSP
  3. What if I wrote a book?
  4. This is why FiveThirtyEight is worth reading
  5. Clownifying Ads
  6. New report from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Informative, but note it’s not nationally representative.
  7. Paul Silvia on Why Don’t We Teach Graduate Students How to Write?His book is a fun and quick read: How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing

Announcement: There is a Turning of the Tide in Psychology

A new blog from the Open Science Collaboration hit the web today with inaugural post by Denny Borsboom. He discusses the turning of the tide on openness in the psychological research community. Check it out. 

In the wake of the Stapel case, the community of psychological scientists committed to openness, data-sharing, and methodological transparency quickly reached a critical mass. The Open Science Framework allows researchers to archive all of their research materials, including stimuli, analysis code, and data, to make them public by simply pressing a button.