Exploring Research-Methods Blogs in Psychology: Who Posts What About Whom, and With What Effect?

Gandalf Nicolas, Xuechunzi Bai, Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

During the methods crisis in psychology and other sciences, much discussion developed online in forums such as blogs and other social media. Hence, this increasingly popular channel of scientific discussion itself needs to be explored to inform current controversies, record the historical moment, improve methods communication, and address equity issues. Who posts what about whom, and with what effect? Does a particular generation or gender contribute more than another? Do blogs focus narrowly on methods, or do they cover a range of issues? How do they discuss individual researchers, and how do readers respond? What are some impacts? Web-scraping and text-analysis techniques provide a snapshot characterizing 41 current research-methods blogs in psychology. Bloggers mostly represented psychology’s traditional leaderships’ demographic categories: primarily male, mid- to late career, associated with American institutions, White, and with established citation counts. As methods blogs, their posts mainly concern statistics, replication (particularly statistical power), and research findings. The few posts that mentioned individual researchers substantially focused on replication issues; they received more views, social-media impact, comments, and citations. Male individual researchers were mentioned much more often than female researchers. Further data can inform perspectives about these new channels of scientific communication, with the shared aim of improving scientific practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-704
Number of pages14
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

Keywords

  • blogs
  • natural language processing
  • replicability
  • research methods
  • social media

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