Help us select our next project(s)!

Project proposal submissions to the PSA’s special call for studies that have passed the initial phase of study selection are now available for network evaluations. PSA members can read and provide feedback on the proposals in a survey on the Canvas membership site. Specifically, you will be asked to rate the submission as a potential PSA project and indicate your interest in contribution to the project if selected. Providing feedback is completely optional, but much appreciated, and will not take much of your time. The deadline to submit evaluations is September 30th. 

Special Call for Studies – Studying Generalizability with Global Samples DEADLINE EXTENDED

Note: Proposals submitted by the original deadline (July 20) are already being reviewed, but any submissions received by the extended deadline (August 31) will be given full consideration.

Updated Timeline

  • Submission deadline (extended): August 31, 2022.
  • Feasibility and quality review: September 1 – 7, 2022.
  • Reviewer selection: September 8-14, 2022.
  • Network rating solicitation: September 15, 2022.
  • Review submission deadline: September 29, 2022.
  • Network rating deadline: September 29, 2022
  • Study selection decision deadline: October 12, 2022.

Overview

The Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA), supported by the John Templeton Foundation (JTF), welcomes study proposals to test the generalizability of phenomena related to JTF strategic priorities with large, global samples.

The PSA is a distributed network of researchers from the behavioral sciences across the globe. Our more than 1300 collaborators represent 84 countries from all six populated continents. The mission of the PSA is to accelerate the accumulation of reliable and generalizable evidence in psychological science. This call for studies will select projects that fit within the 5 topic areas, broadly construed, that are prioritized by the JTF.

JTF Priority Topics

To be eligible for this call, projects must investigate questions related to one or more of the strategic priorities of JTF. Below is a list of those priorities. Each is followed by some example research questions and topics. These are meant to just be examples; they are not an exhaustive list of the research questions that could be encompassed by each priority.

  • The dynamics of religious change. Why do religions flourish or lose adherents? What kinds of features of religious organizations drive or repel members? Why and how do people switch religious identities?
  • Intellectual humility. Which factors enhance or inhibit intellectual humility? How can we better study the concept of intellectual humility?
  • Religious cognition. What is the nature of religious belief and how can it be better measured? What causes religious or spiritual experiences and what are the effects of those experiences? How do individuals develop and revise their religious beliefs?
  • The science of character virtue. In particular, what helps individuals to develop curiosity and love? What are the consequences of those virtues? How do religions and perceptions of supernatural agents affect virtue and morality development?
  • Health, religion, and spirituality. Are there associations between religious/spiritual beliefs, experiences, practices, and identities, and physical and mental health? If so, are there underlying causal mechanisms?

Proposal Selection

PSA projects are selected using a rigorous review process. Researchers submit detailed proposals to the PSA for consideration. These proposals resemble 5,000 words Stage 1 Registered Reports (e.g., Chambers, 2013), and contain a theoretical introduction, a description of the planned sample and methods, as well as hypotheses and an analysis plan to test those hypotheses. 

The proposals then undergo several rounds of review, overseen by the PSA’s Study Selection Committee (SSC). First, each proposal is screened for feasibility given the PSA’s current capacity and resources. For instance, a proposal that requires dozens of collection sites with fMRI machines is likely to be rejected based on infeasibility. Simultaneously, the SSC screens out submissions deemed low quality. Proposals that pass this screening are then sent out for peer review. Each proposal is reviewed by 5-10 reviewers, consisting of both PSA members and external experts (see Supporting Materials for peer review rating criteria). These reviewers are selected based on their methodological and/or theoretical expertise related to a given proposal. All submissions are also rated quantitatively by the entire PSA network. The (SSC) then aggregates two sources of info, the comments of the reviewers and ratings from the network, before selecting projects for the PSA to pursue.

Funding and Personnel Support for Studies Resulting from this Call

Projects selected through this special call will be advertised to members of the  PSA network in collaboration with the proposing authors. Each study will be supported by $40,000 of direct funding for data collection. The proposing author teams will also be collectively supported by 3 full-time scientific staff members (a Research Coordinator, a Postdoctoral Researcher, and a Research Scientist), an additional ⅓ time senior staff member (Dr. Christopher R. Chartier), a ½ time staff member equivalent team of undergraduate research assistants, several members of PSA committees (at their discretion), and members of the network at large (at their discretion).

Submission Requirements

The following components are required for all submissions:

  • Cover Page, including the title of the study, date of the latest draft, and keywords
  • Abstract of up to 150 words
  • Main body submission text of up to 5,000 words
  • A version of the submission with a cover page included
  • A masked version of the submission without the cover page
  • References
  • Supplementary materials

The following guidelines are intended to assist you in the preparation of your study submission to the PSA. Submissions normally include a description of the key background literature and motivation for the study, hypotheses, study procedures, proposed statistical analysis plan, a statistical power analysis, and pilot data (wherever applicable).

Introduction

A review of the relevant literature that motivates the research question and a full description of the study aims and hypotheses.

Method

A full description of proposed sample characteristics, including criteria for data inclusion and exclusion (e.g., outlier extraction). Procedures for objectively defining exclusion criteria caused by technical errors or for any other reasons must be specified, including details of how and under what conditions data would be replaced.

A description of study procedures in sufficient detail to allow another researcher to repeat the methodology exactly, without requiring further information.

Analysis Plan

Proposed analysis pipeline, including all preprocessing steps, and a precise description of all planned analyses, including appropriate correction for multiple comparisons. Specify all covariates or regressors. Specify analysis decisions that are contingent on the outcome of prior analyses.

Studies involving Neyman-Pearson inference must include a statistical power analysis. Estimated effect sizes should be justified with reference to the existing literature or theory. Because publication bias inflates published estimates of effect size, power analysis should be based on the lowest available or meaningful estimate of the effect size.

In the case of highly uncertain effect sizes, variable sample size and interim data analysis is permissible but with inspection points stated in advance, appropriate Type I error correction for ‘peeking’ employed, and a final stopping rule for data collection outlined.

For studies involving analyses with Bayes factors, the predictions of the theory must be specified so that a Bayes factor can be calculated. Authors should indicate what distribution will be used to represent the predictions of the theory and how its parameters will be specified.

Full descriptions must be provided of any outcome-neutral criteria that must be met for successful testing of the stated hypotheses. Such quality checks might include the absence of floor or ceiling effects in data distributions, positive controls, or other quality checks that are orthogonal to the experimental hypotheses.

Supplemental Materials

Include full questionnaires, stimuli, and materials needed to conduct the study. Pilot data can be included to establish proof of concept, effect size estimations, or feasibility of proposed methods. Simulated data and analysis scripts are recommended to provide clarity about the exclusion criteria and analysis plan.

These guidelines were adapted from https://osf.io/pukzy.

Evaluation Criteria

Two studies will be selected and implemented through this year’s call. The project will also include a second round of submissions, with two additional studies to be selected, in 2023.

In your submission, you should clearly state how your project aligns with the goals of this special call and discuss why your research topic would specifically benefit from global data collection (e.g., theoretical reasons to predict global variation). 

In evaluating submissions for this special call for studies, we will prioritize projects whose designs are most well suited for promoting generalizability. In particular, we will prioritize studies that seek global samples (as opposed to studies that wish to sample from one or a few countries), studies with very high statistical power, and studies that are more strongly grounded in previous research (such as replication and generalization studies). All of these criteria are intended to maximize our chances of producing generalizable insights on phenomena-of-interest.

In addition, we will evaluate proposals for this special call together so that we can ensure variation across the projects. In particular, we will strive to select a package of studies that, collectively, represent a range of JTF priorities, study designs (e.g., experimental vs. correlational), and researcher backgrounds (e.g., research specialty, researcher location, etc.). This way, we will avoid overrepresenting a given topic, type of research, or type of researcher in this initiative. 

Possible submission outcomes include “desk rejection” upon initial review, rejection upon full review, provisional acceptance, or an invitation to revise and resubmit for next year’s call.

Following a successful period of needs assessment, preparation, personnel identification, lab recruitment, and pre-registration, provisionally selected studies will commence data collection in early 2023 and end data collection in late 2023.

Please use this form to submit your proposal.

For pre-submission inquiries, please email Chris Chartier at cchartie@ashland.edu. He is happy to meet with proposing authors and/or answer questions about what is likely to make for a strong submission.

Nominations for PSA leadership positions

The Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA) is accepting nominations for two Associate and six Assistant Directors. Associate Directors serve on the Board of Directors and are elected by all PSA members for 4-year terms. Assistant Directors co-lead (with another Assistant Director) specific committees for 3-year terms and are elected by vote by the Board of Directors. 

The positions are open to all members of the PSA–and current non-members are also eligible if they sign-up for a [free] PSA membership. Members can either nominate themselves or others for each role. There are no term limits. For more information about PSA elections policies, see this document.

Nominations are due July 29 2022. To nominate yourself or others, please (1) login to the PSA membership portal, (2) navigate to the PSA Membership course page, (3) click on the Quizzes tab, and (4) complete a short nomination form.

All current members of the PSA should have received an email invitation to the Canvas membership site within the past year. If you know you have a PSA ID, you can reset your password by going to https://canvas.psysciacc.org/. If you aren’t sure what email to use, contact psa.membersite@gmail.com. If you do not have an account, you can sign up for an account using this form: https://member.psysciacc.org/

See below for more information about the open positions.

Associate Directors

Associate Directors serve on the Board of Directors, which serves as the steering body of the PSA. Typically, they meet 1-2 times a month with an assigned committee, help the committee perform essential tasks, and serve as a liaison between the committee and the Board of Directors. They also attend a Board of Directors meeting every three weeks.The estimated time commitment is 4-5 hours per month. For more information, please contact the current Director (ncoles@stanford.edu).

Assistant Director of Project Monitoring

The Project Monitoring Committee consists of two assistant directors and a larger team who actively serve as project monitors of PSA studies and provide general feedback about PSA project procedures. The committee meets twice a month, wherein committee members share project updates, troubleshoot problems, and discuss project management strategies. Assistant Directors are responsible for coordinating these twice-a-month meetings and for regularly communicating updates to the PSA Board of Directors. For more information, contact the current Assistant Director (david.vaidis@u-paris.fr).

Assistant Director of the Study Selection Committee 

The Study Selection Committee consists of two assistant directors and a small team that is tasked with reviewing and selecting projects for the PSA. Study proposals that pass an initial quality and feasibility check by the committee are then reviewed by members of the advisory committees and internal and external content experts. For more information, contact the current Assistant Director (kathleenschmidt1@gmail.com).

Assistant Director of the Funding Committee 

The Funding Committee works with the PSA Board of Directors on grant applications, money management, and the developing of the PSA funding strategy. The Funding Committee also offers occasional support to PSA study investigators in funding applications. For more information, contact the current Assistant Director (nlewisjr@cornell.edu).

Assistant Director of the Ethics Committee

The PSA Ethics Committee helps ensure high quality assessment and identification of ethical risks or challenges, as well as protection and safeguarding of ethical practices of PSA research projects. In the broadest sense, the committee is responsible to: 1) provide reviews of proposed PSA projects with an eye toward ethics, 2) provide ethics-oriented consultation to selected PSA projects (e.g., co-develop the material to ensure hassle-free approval in the majority of PSA labs), 3) curates ethics procedures towards successful implementation of ongoing PSA projects (especially related to the IRB and ethics review board materials prior to distribution to the larger PSA group), 4) work with other PSA committees to ensure ethical practices. For more information, contact dana.basnightbrown@gmail.com.

Assistant Director of the Translation and Cultural Diversity Committee

The Translation and Cultural Diversity committee coordinates translations for each PSA project, expands the PSA community by recruiting translators, and helps ensure that PSA members from every country are treated fairly and equally.

Assistant Director of the Community Building Committee

The Community Building and Network Expansion Committee (CBNEC) is tasked with engaging, assessing and expanding the PSA Network (“improve the reach of and access to the PSA, both internally and externally” Moshontz et al., 2018 pg. 511). The Assistant Directors provide the long-term vision for the committee and coordinates its daily/monthly operations.

Special Call for Studies – Studying Generalizability with Global Samples

The Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA), supported by the John Templeton Foundation (JTF), welcomes study proposals to test the generalizability of phenomena related to JTF strategic priorities with large, global samples.

The PSA is a distributed network of researchers from the behavioral sciences across the globe. Our more than 1300 collaborators represent 84 countries from all six populated continents. The mission of the PSA is to accelerate the accumulation of reliable and generalizable evidence in psychological science. This call for studies will select projects that fit within the 5 topic areas, broadly construed, that are prioritized by the JTF.

JTF Priority Topics

To be eligible for this call, projects must investigate questions related to one or more of the strategic priorities of JTF. Below is a list of those priorities. Each is followed by some example research questions and topics. These are meant to just be examples; they are not an exhaustive list of the research questions that could be encompassed by each priority.

  • The dynamics of religious change. Why do religions flourish or lose adherents? What kinds of features of religious organizations drive or repel members? Why and how do people switch religious identities?
  • Intellectual humility. Which factors enhance or inhibit intellectual humility? How can we better study the concept of intellectual humility?
  • Religious cognition. What is the nature of religious belief and how can it be better measured? What causes religious or spiritual experiences and what are the effects of those experiences? How do individuals develop and revise their religious beliefs?
  • The science of character virtue. In particular, what helps individuals to develop curiosity and love? What are the consequences of those virtues? How do religions and perceptions of supernatural agents affect virtue and morality development?
  • Health, religion, and spirituality. Are there associations between religious/spiritual beliefs, experiences, practices, and identities, and physical and mental health? If so, are there underlying causal mechanisms?

Proposal Selection

PSA projects are selected using a rigorous review process. Researchers submit detailed proposals to the PSA for consideration. These proposals resemble 5,000 words Stage 1 Registered Reports (e.g., Chambers, 2013), and contain a theoretical introduction, a description of the planned sample and methods, as well as hypotheses and an analysis plan to test those hypotheses. 

The proposals then undergo several rounds of review, overseen by the PSA’s Study Selection Committee (SSC). First, each proposal is screened for feasibility given the PSA’s current capacity and resources. For instance, a proposal that requires dozens of collection sites with fMRI machines is likely to be rejected based on infeasibility. Simultaneously, the SSC screens out submissions deemed low quality. Proposals that pass this screening are then sent out for peer review. Each proposal is reviewed by 5-10 reviewers, consisting of both PSA members and external experts (see Supporting Materials for peer review rating criteria). These reviewers are selected based on their methodological and/or theoretical expertise related to a given proposal. All submissions are also rated quantitatively by the entire PSA network. The (SSC) then aggregates two sources of info, the comments of the reviewers and ratings from the network, before selecting projects for the PSA to pursue.

Funding and Personnel Support for Studies Resulting from this Call

Projects selected through this special call will be advertised to members of the  PSA network in collaboration with the proposing authors. Each study will be supported by $40,000 of direct funding for data collection. The proposing author teams will also be collectively supported by 3 full-time scientific staff members (a Research Coordinator, a Postdoctoral Researcher, and a Research Scientist), an additional ⅓ time senior staff member (Dr. Christopher R. Chartier), a ½ time staff member equivalent team of undergraduate research assistants, several members of PSA committees (at their discretion), and members of the network at large (at their discretion).

Submission Requirements

The following components are required for all submissions:

  • Cover Page, including the title of the study, date of the latest draft, and keywords
  • Abstract of up to 150 words
  • Main body submission text of up to 5,000 words
  • A version of the submission with a cover page included
  • A masked version of the submission without the cover page
  • References
  • Supplementary materials

The following guidelines are intended to assist you in the preparation of your study submission to the PSA. Submissions normally include a description of the key background literature and motivation for the study, hypotheses, study procedures, proposed statistical analysis plan, a statistical power analysis, and pilot data (wherever applicable).

Introduction

A review of the relevant literature that motivates the research question and a full description of the study aims and hypotheses.

Method

A full description of proposed sample characteristics, including criteria for data inclusion and exclusion (e.g., outlier extraction). Procedures for objectively defining exclusion criteria caused by technical errors or for any other reasons must be specified, including details of how and under what conditions data would be replaced.

A description of study procedures in sufficient detail to allow another researcher to repeat the methodology exactly, without requiring further information.

Analysis Plan

Proposed analysis pipeline, including all preprocessing steps, and a precise description of all planned analyses, including appropriate correction for multiple comparisons. Specify all covariates or regressors. Specify analysis decisions that are contingent on the outcome of prior analyses.

Studies involving Neyman-Pearson inference must include a statistical power analysis. Estimated effect sizes should be justified with reference to the existing literature or theory. Because publication bias inflates published estimates of effect size, power analysis should be based on the lowest available or meaningful estimate of the effect size.

In the case of highly uncertain effect sizes, variable sample size and interim data analysis is permissible but with inspection points stated in advance, appropriate Type I error correction for ‘peeking’ employed, and a final stopping rule for data collection outlined.

For studies involving analyses with Bayes factors, the predictions of the theory must be specified so that a Bayes factor can be calculated. Authors should indicate what distribution will be used to represent the predictions of the theory and how its parameters will be specified.

Full descriptions must be provided of any outcome-neutral criteria that must be met for successful testing of the stated hypotheses. Such quality checks might include the absence of floor or ceiling effects in data distributions, positive controls, or other quality checks that are orthogonal to the experimental hypotheses.

Supplemental Materials

Include full questionnaires, stimuli, and materials needed to conduct the study. Pilot data can be included to establish proof of concept, effect size estimations, or feasibility of proposed methods. Simulated data and analysis scripts are recommended to provide clarity about the exclusion criteria and analysis plan.

These guidelines were adapted from https://osf.io/pukzy.

Evaluation Criteria

Two studies will be selected and implemented through this year’s call. The project will also include a second round of submissions, with two additional studies to be selected, in 2023.

In your submission, you should clearly state how your project aligns with the goals of this special call and discuss why your research topic would specifically benefit from global data collection (e.g., theoretical reasons to predict global variation). 

In evaluating submissions for this special call for studies, we will prioritize projects whose designs are most well suited for promoting generalizability. In particular, we will prioritize studies that seek global samples (as opposed to studies that wish to sample from one or a few countries), studies with very high statistical power, and studies that are more strongly grounded in previous research (such as replication and generalization studies). All of these criteria are intended to maximize our chances of producing generalizable insights on phenomena-of-interest.

In addition, we will evaluate proposals for this special call together so that we can ensure variation across the projects. In particular, we will strive to select a package of studies that, collectively, represent a range of JTF priorities, study designs (e.g., experimental vs. correlational), and researcher backgrounds (e.g., research specialty, researcher location, etc.). This way, we will avoid overrepresenting a given topic, type of research, or type of researcher in this initiative. 

Selection Process and Timeline

Submission deadline: July 20, 2022.
Initial feasibility and quality review: July 20- July 27, 2022.
Reviewer selection: July 27-August 3, 2022.
Network rating solicitation: August 3, 2022.
Review submission deadline: August 17, 2022.
Network rating deadline: August 17, 2022
Study selection decision deadline: August 31, 2022.

Possible submission outcomes include “desk rejection” upon initial review, rejection upon full review, provisional acceptance, or an invitation to revise and resubmit for next year’s call.

Following a successful period of needs assessment, preparation, personnel identification, lab recruitment, and pre-registration, provisionally selected studies will commence data collection in early 2023 and end data collection in late 2023.

Please use this form to submit your proposal.

For pre-submission inquiries, please email Chris Chartier at cchartie@ashland.edu. He is happy to meet with proposing authors and/or answer questions about what is likely to make for a strong submission. 

Call for Proposals: PSA Rare Populations

The Psychological Science Accelerator is a distributed network of researchers across the behavioral sciences. Great theoretical advances can be made by conducting studies with participants being members of rare populations, but power is necessarily small in single-center investigations (due to the populations being rare). With over 1200 labs from 82 countries on all six populated continents, the PSA has the ability to collect large-sample data from rare populations and advance theory. The PSA is able to contribute to the discovery of generalizable knowledge through a new initiative where researchers may propose a study using a rare population for strong theoretical testing.

What is a rare population? 

For this call, rare populations are defined in a broad manner: these include hard-to-reach samples whether because of logistical, geographic, cultural or other reasons. Examples include people extremely high or low on a given trait; people with a specific diagnosis; members of rare minority groups, trauma survivors and other vulnerable populations, and so on. Rare populations (broadly defined) that can be accessed across multiple countries globally are preferred to rare populations that can only be accessed within a specific country/region. This would ensure the engagement of the full PSA network, increased data gathering capabilities of the study and that the results are generalizable and not dependent on the idiosyncrasies of the local data collection.

What makes for a strong submission?

A major factor of the proposals will be to use a study design where studying the rare population would contribute to a major theoretical advance, regardless of the outcome of the results. In this line, a broad range of methodologies are welcome, not only experimental/quantitative but also including descriptive, exploratory, mixed-methods and qualitative designs. Strong submissions should also justify the need for the use of the PSA network and resources.

Stage 1:

Submit a 2-page proposal with a supplementary document. The proposal should include rationale for the study, the targeted rare population and the study design (including measures, protocols and data analysis).

Importantly, the proposal should come with an additional supplementary document that details the steps to be taken for data gathering labs to access the rare population. As applicable, this document may include protocols to “filter” the general population, partnering with relevant local  institutions, or any such criteria as to demarcate the population of interest and how to access them. This is important so PSA can review the feasibility of the proposal.

Note: Rare Populations can be vulnerable and data collection in some countries can pose ethical or legal risk. Please consider this when preparing your submission and be prepared to submit (separate from the 2-page proposal) discussion of any ethical issues from an international, multi-lab perspective.

Stage 1 screening will be conducted blind to authors’ identity by the PSA Rare Populations Working Group with proposals first screened for depth of theoretical advance as well as feasibility.

Stage 2:

If the 2-page proposal passes the first round, we will be requesting the proposers to write a more detailed proposal with an introduction and methods section in a format that can be submitted as a Registered Report to a major journal [e.g. here].

This longer proposal more fully details the theoretical contributions and methods of the study. Importantly, this should also discuss the specific ethical issues of studying the particular rare population of interest. Potential harms and protocols to mitigate these harms should be discussed. 

Review of Stage 2 Proposals will be conducted blind to the authors’ identity, and will be done by the PSA Rare Populations Working Group and content experts. 

Timeline 

Deadline for the 2-page proposal: April 15, 2022 
Announcement for successful proposals: May 6, 2022 
Deadline for the detailed proposal: June 10, 2022 
Announcement for any selected proposal: July 7, 2022 

Initial 2-page proposal with supplemental steps should be submitted using this Google form here.

For general inquiries, email John Protzko (protzko@gmail.com) with the Subject Line: PSA:RP Question.