Highlights of the PSA’s First Two Years

On August 26, 2017, Chris Chartier wrote a blog post posing a simple question: what might happen if psychology adopted the collaborative “big science” model seen in physics and built a “CERN for psychological science”?

2018 gave us a glimpse of the answer: a rapidly-expanding network of over 300 psychology labs from over fifty countries. The first year was a flurry of activity as, in quick succession, the PSA accepted four studies and had its first academic paper accepted. The network’s rapid expansion in its first year speaks to the hunger for ambitious solutions to two of the problems that psychology currently faces: lower-than-desired levels of replicability and generalizability of psychological findings.

The PSA’s second year has marked the beginnings of a transition from idea to action.  The network has continued to expand, now standing at over 500 labs from over 70 countries.  We have selected 2 new studies, collected data from over 11,000 participants for our first study, initiated data collection in 3 other studies, received in principle acceptance for 2 registered report manuscripts, and submitted another 2 for stage 1 peer review. 

This productivity in the selection, preparation, and conduct of our studies was matched by a substantial organizational infrastructure development. PSA members named Assistant Directors to lead the committees that do the bulk of its administrative and coordination work, initiated a project to formalize its study pipeline, drafted a coherent set of policies dictating how the PSA manages and releases its data, made the PSA’s first full-time hire (Patrick Forscher at Université Grenoble Alpes), announced the first round of PSA elections, created a Patreon, submitted several grant proposals, and drafted a vision statement outlining the PSA’s long-term priorities. If the PSA’s first year was focused on growth and excitement, its second year was focused on turning plans into action and establishing sustainability, and we hope our third year is one of securing large-scale funding to more effectively pursue our mission with six key aims: 

  1. Collect samples that represent all people 
  2. Train and support our global network of researchers
  3. Expand the PSA’s capacity to include more complex behavioral studies
  4. Release large-scale data-sets that are maximally informative for secondary re-use
  5. Improve psychological science through meta-scientific and instructional contributions
  6. Expand capacity to conduct more, and bigger, studies

Below we have created a chronological timeline of important events in the PSA. All of these accomplishments represent the work of literally hundreds of researchers. We can’t thank them enough for joining us on this journey to accelerate psychological science. Here’s to many more productive and rewarding years ahead!

Timeline of important PSA events (with links)

Year one

Year two

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