In response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA) issued a call on March 13th for rapid and impactful proposals to understand the psychological and behavioral aspects of the pandemic. The response to our call has been both enthusiastic and heartwarming — we received over 60 submissions within the four-day window.
The Psychological Science Accelerator is the largest research network of researchers in the social sciences. We now have over 500 labs from over 77 countries. This network includes the top scientists in psychology, with expertise on study design, data analysis, ethics, study management, and translation. Researchers from all over the entire world submit their study proposals to this network. We strongly believe our combined resources can make an impact in this humanitarian crisis.
We are working quickly to select the very best proposals from the 60+ submissions that we received. Based on our current pool, the topics of our COVID-19 studies could range from behavioral interventions to improve adherence to preventive health measures, to interventions to fight fake news about COVID-19, to methods to reduce the anxiety that accompanies social distancing. We are confident that our COVID-19 initiative will make an impact. However, the initiative would be all the more impactful if we had more financial resources at our disposal. These financial resources would allow us to:
- Pay for participant compensation at sites without large research budgets
- Use recruitment methods in some sites that do not rely on convenience sampling
- Pay for social media advertising to assist with recruitment efforts
- Provide stipends to translators so that our projects can be conducted in non-English languages
- Provide a stipend for a project manager who could ensure the full project happens on a rapid timetable
In short, financial resources would allow us to have an even greater chance to generate informative research papers and datasets. Because we plan to share these datasets and papers freely and openly, these research products should allow us to substantially improve our knowledge of the behavioral science of COVID-19, thereby contributing to policy discussions about how to mitigate COVID-19’s pernicious public health effects. If you would like to help us in this endeavor, you can contribute to our financial resources via our PayPal.
The community response to COVID-19 has been extremely gratifying. Let’s use our collective skills and resources to understand and respond to this evolving crisis.