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.

Peter McGraw and Joel Warner on Humor

I have a shameless plug to make. My first interview for The Society Page’s Humor-Code-Book-Coverpodcast, Office Hours hit the airwaves today (subscribe on iTunes). Dr. Peter McGraw and Joel Warner were kind enough to chat with me at Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival on their new book, The Humor Code. We talked (and laughed) about Benign Violation Theory and their travels around the world in search of what makes things funny (listen here).

Peter McGraw (@PeterMcGraw) is a marketing and psychology professor at the University of Colorado Boulder and founder of the Humor Research Lab (aka HuRL). Joel Warner (@joelmwarner) is a journalist, writing for many prominent publications including Wired, The Boston Globe, and Slate.