Psychological Science Accelerator, crowdsourcing, generalizability, theory development, large-scale collaboration
Concerns have been growing about the veracity of psychological research. Many findings in psychological science are based on studies with insufficient statistical power and nonrepresentative samples, or may otherwise be limited to specific, ungeneralizable settings or populations. Crowdsourced research, a type of large-scale collaboration in which one or more research projects are conducted across multiple lab sites, offers a pragmatic solution to these and other current methodological challenges. The Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA) is a distributed network of laboratories designed to enable and support crowdsourced research projects. These projects can focus on novel research questions, or attempt to replicate prior research, in large, diverse samples. The PSA’s mission is to accelerate the accumulation of reliable and generalizable evidence in psychological science. Here, we describe the background, structure, principles, procedures, benefits, and challenges of the PSA. In contrast to other crowdsourced research networks, the PSA is ongoing (as opposed to time-limited), efficient (in terms of re-using structures and principles for different projects), decentralized, diverse (in terms of participants and researchers), and inclusive (of proposals, contributions, and other relevant input from anyone inside or outside of the network). The PSA and other approaches to crowdsourced psychological science will advance our understanding of mental processes and behaviors by enabling rigorous research and systematically examining its generalizability.
Moshontz, Hannah; Campbell, Lorne; Ebersole, Charles R.; IJzerman, Hans; Urry, Heather L.; Forscher, Patrick S.; Grahe, Jon E.; McCarthy, Randy J.; Musser, Erica D.; and Antfolk, Jan, "The Psychological Science Accelerator: Advancing Psychology through a Distributed Collaborative Network" (2018). Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations. 3.