A Perspective on the Relevance and Public Reception of Psychological Science

Jonathon McPhetres
2019 Collabra: Psychology  
In this short commentary, data from the website Reddit is used to examine how people receive social psychological research. The data show that people care greatly about research dealing with humans: links tagged as psychology, social sciences, and health are upvoted more than other categories on Reddit. Within the category of psychology, articles were coded based on the topic of research. Articles dealing generally with social psychological topics are among the highest in number and upvotes on
more » ... ber and upvotes on the subreddit r/Science. Many posts were upvoted tens of thousands of times. However, upvotes on Reddit are unrelated to scientific publishing metrics (e.g., impact factor, journal rankings, and citations), suggesting a disconnect between what psychologists and Redditors may see as relevant. These findings also highlight some points for reflection. For example, psychologists may benefit from thinking about the purpose, goals, and beneficiaries of the research they pursue. Additionally, the level of attention that some psychological research receives has implications for transparent research practices. Researchers have a responsibility to ensure that findings are reported accurately and transparently because, whether scientists like it or not, people care about psychological research, they share it, and use it in their lives.
doi:10.1525/collabra.223 fatcat:rkm4uijzvjbjhhkau4cnb3iay4