Toward a psychology of Homo sapiens: Making psychological science more representative of the human population

Mostafa Salari Rad, Alison Jane Martingano, Jeremy Ginges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

408 Scopus citations


Two primary goals of psychological science should be to understand what aspects of human psychology are universal and the way that context and culture produce variability. This requires that we take into account the importance of culture and context in the way that we write our papers and in the types of populations that we sample. However, most research published in our leading journals has relied on sampling WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic) populations. One might expect that our scholarly work and editorial choices would by now reflect the knowledge that Western populations may not be representative of humans generally with respect to any given psychological phenomenon. However, as we show here, almost all research published by one of our leading journals, Psychological Science, relies on Western samples and uses these data in an unreflective way to make inferences about humans in general. To take us forward, we offer a set of concrete proposals for authors, journal editors, and reviewers that may lead to a psychological science that is more representative of the human condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11401-11405
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 6 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Cognition
  • Culture
  • Diversity
  • Methodology
  • Psychological science


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