SPSP has a longstanding commitment to maintaining the quality and integrity of research findings in social and personality psychology. This commitment is reflected in our ongoing efforts to identify, adopt, and promote best practices through the society’s publications.
Below is an overview of actions taken in recent years as part of SPSP's commitment to continually evaluate and adapt strategies to ensure the quality and integrity of research.
PSPB has Adopted TOP Level II Guidelines as Prepared by the SPSP TOP II Task Force
Some important changes to existing PSPB guidelines include:
- Authors must post the following in a trusted repository (see trusted repositories) and link to them in the manuscript.
- Analysis code
- Any data that is not already publicly accessible
- A codebook for interpreting the data file(s) describing all variables and how they are coded
- Authors need to state whether study and analysis plan pre-registration exists or not.
- Exceptions should be communicated to the Editor directly in the cover letter and acknowledged in the Author Note on the title page. If you think you might need to request an exception, please check this FAQ guide first for help navigating common challenges to data and code sharing.
Signed on to Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines
At its Summer 2015 meeting, the SPSP Board of Directors voted (8-1-1) to join as an organizational signatory of the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines. In doing so, SPSP expresses its support of the principles of openness, transparency, and reproducibility. The SPSP Publication Committee and journal editors will review journal practices relevant to transparency and reproducibility. In doing this review, SPSP is not committing to adopting any predetermined standard or level, not limiting its scope to issues identified by TOP. Research in social and personality psychology involves diverse methods, populations, settings, and topics, and SPSP will identify the best way to implement changes that will support continued scientific progress in the field. This review will be conducted in a manner that is representative of the SPSP membership and the values of diversity and inclusiveness that SPSP maintains.
Presidential Task Force on Publication and Research Practices
Initiated and chaired by 2013 SPSP President David Funder, the SPSP Presidential Task Force on Publication and Research Practices (PRP) was charged with making recommendations to the Board of Directors concerning actions to improve the dependability of research findings in personality and social psychology. Concerns about replicability have recently been raised in a wide range of scientific fields including physics, biochemistry, medicine, political science, and cell biology, as well as psychology. As a behavioral science organization SPSP is well-positioned to be a leader in improving research practices and professional communication across disciplines. The hope was that the actions taken by SPSP will be a model for other organizations within and outside of psychology. The committee was particularly requested to consider matters of practice and policy at the society-owned journals, PSPB and PSPR, as well as other issues."
The Task Force recommended (and the SPSP Board approved) adoption of a formal Data Sharing Policy and changes to the SPSP submission policies. For both PSPB and PSPR (for empirical papers), these changes included greater transparency in methods reporting (e.g., verbatim wording of all independent and dependent variable instructions, manipulations, and measures, published online for accepted papers) and greater transparency in results reporting (e.g., mandated reporting of effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals, issues of power and sample size). In addition, PSPB guidelines include an explicit statement that replications and meta-analyses are acceptable types of research. See the PSPB Submission Guidelines and PSPR Submission Guidelines for details.
Funder, D. C., & Task Force on Publication and Research Practices, Society for Personality and Social Psychology (2014). Notice: PSPB articles by authors with retracted articles at PSPB or other journals: Stapel, Smeesters, and Sanna. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 132–135.
Funder, D. C., Levine, J. M., Mackie, D. M., Morf, C. C., Sansone, C., Vazire, S., & West, S. G. (2014). Improving the dependability of research in personality and social psychology: Recommendations for research and educational practice. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 18, 3-12.
Responsible Research Task Force
Initiated by 2011 SPSP President Todd Heatherton and chaired by Jennifer Crocker, this Task Force convened a summit among related societies to discuss the promotion of responsible conduct in social and personality psychology. The recent Diederik Stapel case raised many important issues regarding data integrity and professional ethical conduct and put the field under a national spotlight. Rather than having many affected societies work in isolation and have overlap in effort, SPSP felt that a unified approach from the field will be most productive. Accordingly, SPSP convened a summit at the annual SPSP Meeting in San Diego in January 2012 where SPSP members who also serve other societies met to discuss the relevant issues and possible ways for the field to move forward to promote ethical conduct.
Task Force Outcomes: Post-Summit Report