PSPB Editorial Philosophy, January 2021
Our new editorial team (Michael Robinson, Yuen Huo, Emily Impett, and Benjamin Wilkowski plus 25 Associate Editors and 114 Consulting Editors) will take the reins of PSPB in January 2021. We thank outgoing Editor Chris Crandall and his editorial team for their excellent work in maintaining the high standards, rigor, and interest value scholars have come to associate with the journal and we also thank several critical teams for helping with the transition, including the SPSP Publications Committee (chaired by Laura King), the SPSP TOP II Task Force (chaired by Alison Ledgerwood), SPSP, and Sage.
As a flagship journal for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (PSPB) is functioning well. Citation rates have been steadily climbing and PSPB received over 700 submissions in 2020. In this context, we view our tenure at the journal as a time of evolution rather than revolution and we will seek to preserve many of the aspects of PSPB that have made it the excellent journal that it has become. At the same time, our term will be one of gradual change, especially with regard to open science practices and diversity initiatives.
Continuity with the Past
Many aspects of PSPB will be quite familiar. Typical manuscripts will still contain multiple studies with adequate power, all of which are described in 10,000 words or fewer. We will continue to publish 12 issues per year with a likely acceptance rate around 20%. Our goal, though, will be to create a speedy and efficient process (e.g., decisions should ideally be made within three months and some revisions will be evaluated without re-review).
PSPB will continue to welcome papers on a broad range of topics within the field of personality and social psychology. Relevant topics are numerous and include attitudes and behavior, culture, decision-making, ideology, intergroup relations, interpersonal behavior, morality, motivation and emotion, organizational behavior, personality, relationships, social identity, stereotypes and prejudice, the self, etc. As before, we also think that contributions come in many forms and no single “litmus test” will be applied in distinguishing publishable from non-publishable papers.
PSPB will continue to feature new, creative work that is marked by good writing, methodological rigor, and importance in characterizing the human condition. Contributions themselves can come in different shapes and sizes, however. Some papers will examine existing theories, but others will emphasize methodological developments. Some will be oriented toward novelty and others toward replication, whether conceptual or more direct. Some will involve experiments, while others will not, and some will focus on “real world” phenomena (e.g., in the form of experience-sampling studies or the study of substantial, real-world behaviors). Finally, some will involve the collection of new data, while others will capitalize on the use of existing data from larger panel studies, often in the context of greater representativeness. In all cases, the general standard that will be applied will be a question about informational value—have we learned something useful or important from the paper?
Open Science Initiatives
Following Duane Wegener and Lee Fabrigar, Chris Crandall and his team instituted a number of open science practices that will be retained. PSPB has required that stimulus materials—in the form of a supplementary file—be submitted with all papers. This file is available to reviewers and is ultimately published online, which can facilitate replication efforts. PSPB also continues to endorse guidelines proposed by the SPSP Task Force on Publication and Research Practices (Funder et al., 2014) as well as SPSP’s Data Sharing Policy (http://www.spsp.org/publication-policies), guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (http://publicationethics.org), and APA’s Ethical Principles for Code of Conduct (http://www.apa.org/ethics).
What is new, however, is that PSPB will now be conducted in accordance with Level II (i.e., “require”) guidelines from the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) recommendations (Nosek et al., 2015). Authors should consult submission guidelines (which were prepared by the SPSP Top II Task Force), but some key points are the following. In accordance with TOP II Guidelines (https://www.cos.io/top), PSPB now requires authors to make data, analytic code, and verbatim research materials available to reviewers at the time of submissions. Authors are also required to specify whether their studies and analysis plans were preregistered and make preregistrations available when they exist. Exceptions to these policies can be requested, though, and they will be granted when there is sufficient justification (see submission guidelines for further details). Upon publication, open materials, data, and code will be made available to readers.
In accordance with Level II guidelines, PSPB will also consider manuscripts that directly (or closely) replicate the procedures of studies previously published in PSPB. Following other journals (e.g., Psychological Science and Journal of Research in Personality), the authors of a replication study must clearly articulate their rationale for conducting the replication and the interest value of it. Authors should inform the Editor that they are planning this replication-related work and this email should articulate the potential value of their PSPB contribution. Subsequently, the research will be evaluated in a two-stage process, the first of which involves an evaluation of the proposal (introduction plus methods and analysis plan) and the second of which involves an evaluation of the final product. PSPB hopes to publish some replication papers over the next four years, though the number of papers published through this mechanism will likely be modest.
Both SPSP and PSPB view diversity as a core value. Scholars who bring perspectives that have historically been underrepresented in personality and social psychology make valuable contributions to the development of a complete psychological science rather than one that represents a narrow population of people (Henrich et al., 2010; Roberts et al., 2020). To fully understand the human condition, we must acknowledge the limitations of our current database and adopt new practices to expand it. With such goals in mind, we issued an open call to attract new Associate Editors, with the explicit goal of recruiting an editorial team that is diverse along a number of dimensions including research interests, methods, geographical regions, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and age; similar considerations were applied to the Editorial Board. With this editorial team in place, we welcome submissions of research involving underrepresented populations. Indeed, authors should be given credit rather than penalized for efforts to obtain unique samples, whether with respect to age, ethnicity, geographical location, or other participant characteristics. Moreover, we encourage authors to think about, and speak to, constraints on generality in their General Discussion sections (Simons et al., 2017).
PSPB has a strong legacy of providing a space for authors to share new ideas that shed light on the human condition. With TOP Level II policies in place to promote greater transparency in the research process and a commitment to promoting psychological science that reflects the diversity of the human condition, we are eager to continue this legacy and we welcome your contributions.
Michael Robinson, Yuen Huo, Emily Impett, and Benjamin Wilkowski
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.
Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33, 61-83.
Nosek, B. A., Alter, G., Banks, G. C., Borsboom, D., Bowman, S. D., Breckler, S. J.,...Yarkoni, T. (2015). Promoting an open research culture. Science, 348, 1422-1425.
Roberts, S. O., Bareket-Shavit, C., Dollins, F. A., Goldie, P. D., & Mortenson, E. (2020). Racial inequality in psychological research: Trends of the past and recommendations for the future. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 15, 1295-1309.
Simons, D. J., Shoda, Y., & Lindsay, S. (2017). Constraints on Generality (COG): A proposed addition to all empirical papers. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12, 1123-1128.