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Research Practices in Psychology and How We Communicate About Them


This dissertation attempts to examine research practices and the way we communicate about them in parts of the research process that may not always be at the forefront of people’s minds. When researchers recruit participants for their studies, do we ever wonder what they think about how we treat their data? In Chapter 1, I examined psychology research participants’ opinions about (mostly) common research practices in psychology, including questionable research practices (QRPs; e.g., p-hacking, HARKing) and practices to increase transparency and replicability. After running a study, researchers then write it up as a manuscript, which is how most research gets communicated to relevant stakeholders. But do different groups of researchers communicate their findings differently? In Chapter 2, I investigated which groups of researchers might be more or less prone to hedging their conclusions in their research articles, a first step towards better understanding when and why researchers make strong claims about their findings. Finally, when findings get disseminated to the public, which research practices are being rewarded with media attention? In Chapter 3, I explored what information science journalists use when evaluating psychology findings’ trustworthiness and newsworthiness. By examining these often-forgotten aspects of research practices and their consequences, I hope to encourage more research on how we do and communicate psychological science.

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