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*******).
*me, Traci Mann, and Tim (our coffee connoisseur collaborator).
**that’s the hard part… sugar is yummy.
****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).
p.s. HT to Simine Vazire whose blog inspired the above footnote style. #usefulbloghack.