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Empirical Research Submission Examples

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, May 13, 2019
Updated: Friday, April 19, 2019


Submitting to a peer-reviewed journal can be a complicated process. There is much to consider with regard to APA writing style, communicating your methodology and results, navigating the submission portal, addressing reviewer feedback, etc. Therefore, as an educational journal dedicated to providing a supportive environment for new and seasoned researchers, Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research took it upon itself to create submission examples for the four primary documents needed to publish your work.

These four example materials will be extremely helpful to authors submitting to Psi Chi Journal or to any other academic, peer-reviewed publication. Be sure to save copies of these documents somewhere that you will see them often. Each of these is sure to come in handy for you in the classroom or beyond.




Masked Manuscript Example

After reviewing more than 1,000 empirical manuscript submissions submitted by students and faculty alike, Psi Chi Journal’s APA Style reviewer set out to create a masked manuscript example, which includes approximately 25 concise pointers to help authors avoid the most frequent APA Style mistakes seen in Psi Chi Journal submissions. You’ll definitely want to glance through these pointers anytime you are about to submit your research to an academic journal! In particular, this PDF shows an example of how to mask a manuscript and format the pages (Times New Roman, size 12, doubled spaced), as well as advice for using numbers and various details that authors sometimes forget to include (e.g., participant race/ethnicity, study limitations, effect sizes). Since this document was released in Winter 2018, the APA Style reviewer has already noticed a great improvement in APA Style of new articles submitted!

Cover Letter Example

There has always been a brief bulleted list of requirements for your cover letter on the Psi Chi Journal submission guidelines. However, the addition of this brand new example includes additional information to consider. Also, it spares submitters from having to spend time research the formatting and header information of the letters, which the submission guidelines page naturally could not include.

Unmasked Cover Page Example

Authors sometimes get confused when submitting their cover page, by either mistakenly masking it or even confusing it with the separate cover letter file and thus failing to do it altogether! The new unmasked cover page example lets submitters see exactly what is expected of them. Further, it includes a specific example of how to write the Author Note information on the cover page.

Sponsor Statement Example

Manuscripts submitted to Psi Chi Journal that have an undergraduate first author are required to also submit a sponsor statement that is hand-signed by a faculty mentor. Although a bulleted list of requirements for this statement has existed for many years, we felt that providing an example sponsor statement would be a much appreciated way to save our faculty mentors' a little of their precious time. Faculty mentors are invited to copy this example statement and modify it as appropriate. We are happy to report that more than three-quarters of new undergraduate submissions are now using this sample statement!

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Psi Chi URW Awards Ceremony

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Friday, April 12, 2019
Updated: Friday, April 12, 2019




A key part of Psi Chi’s mission is recognizing the successes and hard work put forth by our members. Therefore, it seems only fitting to finish up our fun, informal Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Week with an equally fun, informal Awards Ceremony article!

Below, we are proud to call out the following individuals for their incredible service to Psi Chi, student research, and the field of psychology!

Best 2018 Journal Reviewer

Editor Debi Brannan greatly appreciates every person on the Psi Chi Journal reviewer team. However, out of almost 300 doctoral-level reviewers, one reviewer in particular really stands out to her above all others. Reviewer Dr. Robert R. Wright (Brigham Young University–Idaho) has become one of the journal team’s top go-to reviewers for when we need a review that is fabulously in-depth, supportive to the authors, and speedy too! Rob, thank you so much for your service! Visit HERE to learn about becoming a reviewer!

Best 2018 Awards and Grants Reviewer

Awards and Grants Officer Paige Anctil would like to specially recognize evaluator Dr. Evan Zucker (Loyola University New Orleans) for his impressive service. In addition to being the Southwestern Vice-President from 2012 to 2016, he has also reviewed more than 100 applications between the Undergraduate Research Grants this and last year, and his work on the Scholarship committee, among other programs! Thank you, Dr. Zucker!

Best Psi Chi Tattoo!

Okay, so there’s only one person eligible for this recognition (that we know of!). But Bryan Patriquin’s (Southern New Hampshire University) tattoo is so wickedly awesome that we couldn’t help bringing it to everyone’s attention once again this year! You can view the tattoo, and the inspirational story behind it, in this recent magazine article.

Latest Psi Chi Distinguished Members


This year, Psi Chi’s Board of Directors have nominated two new renowned experts to become the latest Distinguished Members of Psi Chi: Dr. Jane S. Halonen (University of West Florida) and Dr. Antonio Puente (University of North Carolina Wilmington). Congratulations! Their names will now be listed alongside other Distinguished Members such as Drs. Albert Bandura, Elizabeth Loftus, and many others. View the full list.

2018 Most Active Journal Reviewer

Thank you so much to Dr. Katharine S. Shaffer (University of Baltimore) for completing EIGHT empirical manuscript reviews in 2018! Wow! Reviewers are selected based on their subject areas listed online. Therefore, reviewers who would like to increase their number of reviews requests are encouraged to log in to the online submission portal and see if there are any additional subject areas that they would feel comfortable reviewing.

Best 2018 Undergraduate Journal Manuscript for APA Style

Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Journal’s APA Style Reviewer, is happy to recognize Kayla Wilson (University of Central Arkansas) for her outstanding work. All revised manuscripts receive a comprehensive APA Style Review, and Kayla’s manuscript had fewer edits than any other article this year! Great job! Also, special thanks to her coauthor and faculty mentor, Dr. Kenith Sobel. This is not the first time that Dr. Sobel has guided an outstanding student submission! See the full article.

Special Recognition

Kelly Cuccolo (University of North Dakota) told us that she stepped a bit out of her comfort zone when she applied to become the chair of the NICE:CROWD collaborative research project. Despite her original hesitation, her performance has consistently amazed us throughout, and the first-ever NICE:CROWD project is off to an incredible start. Kelly, that new program has benefited immensely from your hard work! Thank you!

Dr. Jon Grahe (Pacific Lutheran University) has been invaluable to the Research Advisory Committee. In his presidency of Psi Chi, he led the creation of the committee and then served as an ex officio member during his terms as president and past-president of Psi Chi. After serving in this role on the committee, he has served as a regular committee member until this summer. Jon’s work has done much to advance the ability of Psi Chi members to do their own research. Thank you!

And last but not least, we would also like to thank our Psi Chi Journal Editorial Assistant, Rebecca Stempel (Western Oregon University). The editorial team has come to really rely on and appreciate her assistance with scheduling meetings, reviewing the journal issue layouts, and everything else that she does for us. The Journal team dreads the day that she ever steps down from this position!

Reader, thank you for participating in Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Week this year. Although the event has now reached its conclusion, there are many year-long programs designed to support your growth as a researcher. Be sure to check them out HERE!


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Full Program—Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Week 2019

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Monday, March 18, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2019



PSI CHI UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH WEEK (URW) is an opportunity for all members to gain some research experience outside of the classroom—not just those who are able to travel to a convention. Graduate students and faculty are also welcome. Take a moment to review the full program below. And please be sure to tell your friends, students, and fellow psychologists about this unique opportunity.

NOTE. Programming below is subject to change. Details will be finalized by April 4.

MONDAY APRIL 8

  • 9:00 A.M. ESTAre You Conducting Responsible Science?
    Psi Chi Research Director Dr. John E. Edlund will be hosting an informative Q&A comments chat on Psi Chi's official Facebook page. Have ideas for conducting responsible science? We look forward to your participation!
  • 12:00 P.M. EST—Attend a Live Webinar
    Join Dr. Brooke Robertshaw for a webinar called, “No Statistics Are Objective: The Intersection of Quantitative Methods and Diversity.” Spaces are limited, so register HERE early. A Q&A Session will follow.
  • ALL-DAY ACTIVITY—Send Us Your Research Presentation Videos
    Throughout the week, we will be sharing 15-second video clips submitted by our members. Direct your videos to social.media@psichi.org.

TUESDAY APRIL 9

WEDNESDAY APRIL 10

  • 11:00 A.M. EST—Ask Questions About Psi Chi Journal!
    Starting at 11 a.m. EST, submit your questions and comments about the journal on Psi Chi’s Facebook page. Editor Dr. Debi Brannan and the Associate Editor team will respond to your comments on and off throughout the day. Learn more about the journal.
  • ALL-DAY ACTIVITY—Download Our APA Style Templates
    Our APA Style masked manuscript, (NEW) cover letter, cover page, and sponsor statement templates contain useful pointers that will definitely come in handy when you write your next research article. Download copies of each today. Our gift to you!

THURSDAY APRIL 11

  • 12:10 CST—Watch MPA Poster Presenters, LIVE!
    Psi Chi Past-President Dr. R. Eric Landrum is going to give you a fun, Twitter Live video tour of a poster session at a regional convention. Be sure to tune in HERE.
  • ALL-DAY ACTIVITY—Share Your Research Experiences
    Join us in sharing your research presentation pictures, videos, and memories on social media. Use hashtag #PsiChiURW so that we can find your posts.

FRIDAY APRIL 12

  • 9:00 A.M. EST—Celebrate Our Psi Chi Research Achievers
    To round off a great week, a brand-new Awards Ceremony article will be released today. This article will feature various individuals who have gone above and beyond to support student research and other activities through Psi Chi. Thank you to everyone for participating in this year’s URW event!
  • ALL-DAY ACTIVITY—Support Your Fellow Researchers
    Did you know that Psi Chi hosts a free tool where members can list their research studies that are in need of online participants? Please visit HERE anytime today and complete at least one of the available studies. Members, feel free to log in and submit a link to your own studies too.

Can't Get Enough Research Experience?

See these four other ways to gain invaluable research experiences with Psi Chi!

We Hope You Enjoy #PsiChiURW


Send any comments or questions to publishing@psichi.org.

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About Psi Chi URW

Posted By John E. Edlund, PhD, Psi Chi Research Director, Monday, March 18, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2019


Dear Psi Chi Member,

I hope you will join me during Psi Chi’s second annual celebration of Undergraduate Research Week (URW). All students and faculty—not just undergraduates—are invited to join us April 8–12 to shine a light on the latest generation of students striving to advance the science and application of psychology. The final program will be available online by April 4.

Specifically, this event will feature Psi Chi webinars, Facebook conversations with experts, new articles, and other Psi Chi research tools throughout the week. You are also encouraged to share about your current research projects and experiences on Facebook and social media. Use hashtag #PsiChiURW. Specific projects, interests, conference attendance—we want to hear about it all! You are also invited to send us any 15-second video clips of your research presentations to socialmedia@psichi.org.

As we wait for URW, here are four ways you can go ahead and honor this special occasion with Psi Chi today:

1. Join a Research Project

Psi Chi’s NICE:CROWD project allows student and faculty researchers from around the world to get together and investigate a specified research question. Each year, a particular research project will be selected by the NICE Committee, and then interested researchers will be guided through the process of gathering IRB approval and collecting data at their local institutions. Learn more about submitting a potential project for consideration or collaborating on the current project!

2. Receive Financial Support

Psi Chi provides $400,000 annually in awards, grants, and scholarships. This includes significant funding for undergraduate research awards, research grants, and travel grants to conventions. View a complete list of annual programs and deadlines.

3. Submit to Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research

Psi Chi’s quarterly, peer-reviewed journal is uniquely dedicated to educating and promoting the professional development of undergraduate, graduate, and faculty authors. Experience our rigorous, yet supportive and educational, peer-review process for yourself. Psi Chi’s high visibility across the field and dedication to transparent, replicable research practices makes our journal the place to submit your research today.

4. Learn Something New

Over the years, Psi Chi has built up a wealth of free articles and resources about Conducting Research and Attending and Presenting at Conventions. You are welcome to use these in your classrooms and other endeavors.

Undergraduate Research Week was originally declared by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. Indeed, many professionals first discovered their passion for research when they were students. This celebration is to recognize those beginnings too, and for the mentors who cultivate countless bright minds.

Undergraduate research opportunities cultivate future generations of passionate and innovative researchers. I look forward to your participation in the upcoming Psi Chi URW celebration!

John E. Edlund, PhD
Psi Chi Research Director
Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)
research.director@psichi.org

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Advice and Other Insights From the Psi Chi Journal Editorial Team

Posted By Psi Chi Journal Editorial Team, Monday, February 25, 2019
Updated: Monday, February 25, 2019



Together, the Editorial Team for the Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research agreed to share their top publishing advice and give you a glimpse of what it is like working with the journal.


The team includes the Editor: Dr. Debi Brannan (Western Oregon University); five Associate Editors: Drs. Mary Beth Ahlum (Nebraska Wesleyan University), Erin Ayala (St. Mary’s University of Minnesota), Jennifer Hughes (Agnes Scott College, GA), Tammy Lowery Zacchilli (Saint Leo University, FL), and Steven V. Rouse (Pepperdine University, CA); and the Managing Editor: Bradley Cannon (Psi Chi Central Office). You can view their full bios HERE.

The Editor and all five Associate Editors were selected to lead the journal, largely due to their prior service to the journal as both excellent reviewers and authors. Each person has demonstrated an impressive passion and skill for helping students and faculty authors to navigate the peer-review process and strengthen their research and writing skills. (And they’ve got a bit of a fun side too, as you can see in the pictures below!)

The journal would not be the one-of-a-kind teaching tool for Psi Chi that it is without each and every one of them. We are greatly appreciative of them for everything they do!



Caption: (top row from left) Tammy and Joy; Debi enjoying a floating restaurant on the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon; Erin and a tasty treat; Steve at the top of Mount Whitney; (bottom row from left) Jenny and Winston; Bradley proudly framing his vehicle emissions test paper (Pass! Third time’s a charm!); and Mary Beth posing with the NWU Prairie Wolf.

What’s the #1 advice you would give to a student who is considering submitting a manuscript for publication?

ERIN: Pay attention to details! Ask a colleague to carefully read through your submission to make sure it adheres to APA style guidelines and is free from grammatical errors. By eliminating those minor errors, reviewers can focus on the content of your study. Second, listen to the reviewers and respond to all of their suggestions in an open manner. Reviewers spend a lot of time on their reviews and are subject matter experts, so it is important for authors to listen to their suggestions and to thank them for the time spent reviewing your work.

JENNIFER: The journal sees the publishing process as developmental. That means that we try to teach authors when giving feedback. I would tell students to prepare the best manuscript possible and then be open to feedback. That feedback can help students to become better researchers for future projects.

MARY BETH: Before submitting your manuscript go to apa.org and look up the many resources there about publishing. Read at least 2 of the articles and then adapt that advice to your manuscript.

STEVE: Be sure to have a faculty coauthor rigorously proofread the manuscripts. There are some faculty members who do not realize that the Psi Chi Journal is now a full peer-reviewed journal, indexed in PsycINFO—they may think it's just a repository for student term projects. As a result, they may not be as critical in reading these manuscripts as they would submissions to other journals. As a result, some manuscripts get submitted that are not quite at a stage that's ready for the peer-review process.

TAMMY: I recommend that students work closely with their advisor during this process and be open to getting another set of eyes to review the paper before submission. Be open to feedback and do not get discouraged if the outcome isn't what you expected.

BRADLEY: Go ahead and expect to receive a Revise and Resubmit decision the first time around. I think that receiving this decision sometimes disappoints student authors, who were hoping for an automatic Accept and who maybe didn’t know that a Revise and Resubmit decision is nothing to be ashamed of. However, Revise and Resubmit is the most common decision for original submissions to receive. And when you think about it, this totally makes sense because a key part of our peer-review process is to provide specific educational feedback to help you propel your research and writing skills to the next level.

DEBI: Just know that publishing a manuscript takes time and attention to details. Sometimes it feels like a lot to take on but that is when you rely on your faculty advisor and/or coauthors and trust the process. When you submit a manuscript for publication the worst-case scenario is that you will learn a lot—best case scenario is that you WILL learn a lot!

What’s your favorite part of being on the team?

ERIN: I truly love our team on the Editorial Board! I also enjoy working behind the scenes to make sure the research we publish is rigorous and methodologically sound. It's especially rewarding for me to work with the students and early career researchers. I want authors to have a positive experience submitting to journals, and to learn a lot along the way so that they feel prepared to submit to more journals in the future.

JENNIFER: It has been great fun to work with the Editor, the other Associate Editors, and the Psi Chi staff. We all bring different strengths to the team and learn from each other.

STEVE: Although the mission of the Psi Chi Journal has broadened from what it was previously (to now be a research outlet for Psi Chi members at all levels of professional development, rather than exclusively undergraduates), I appreciate that this journal's leadership still recognizes that one of its primary goals is supporting the educational development of undergraduates. Maybe I'm a walking cliche, living out Erik Erikson's stage of Generativity vs. Stagnation, but at this stage in my professional career I'm really seeing the importance of training the next generation of researchers—both at my own school and at others.

TAMMY: I love reading about the exciting research studies that our members are conducting. Psi Chi has always been dear to my heart so I love being involved with the journal. I love working with our editorial board!

BRADLEY: I am always happy to assist authors and reviewers with navigating the online system and the peer-review process. But for me personally, a highlight of working with Psi Chi Journal has been the numerous opportunities to help initiate new journal programs and technologies that will help disseminate our authors’ research. For example, obtaining DOIs (digital object identifiers) for our published articles and ORCID IDs for our published authors has been especially rewarding. DOIs and ORCIDs ensure that Psi Chi Journal articles will always be easy to access and attributed to the correct authors, even if the articles change location on the Internet or if an author’s name changes or is identical to another author’s name. I get to read a broad range of interesting articles too!

DEBI: The best part of being part of this team is having the opportunity to work with the best in the business! The associate editors, editor emeritus, and managing editor are a dream team of mentors, writers, researchers, and just good humans. It has been an enormous privilege to know this group and learn from them all—but most importantly, call them friends.

Of all the submissions that you have overseen, which one were you the most excited/proud to see ultimately published?

ERIN: I'm working with one right now that I'm really excited about! Unfortunately, it's in the final stage of the revision process, so I'm not able to provide too many spoilers. In sum, it examines the extent to which culturally diverse historical scholars are recognized by students in psychology. It's an important and eye opening piece of work.

MARY BETH: There have been some "weak" manuscripts where the authors worked diligently to follow the reviewers' advice and thereby improve the work substantially. Those authors deserve a lot of kudos. They demonstrate that hard work pays off!

STEVE: I was grateful for the opportunity to be the Invited Editor for the Special Issue on Open Science Practices (Vol. 23, Issue 2). As a result, I saw these manuscripts progress all the way from proposals to finished products. That was really rewarding.

TAMMY: It's difficult to pick a favorite. However, as a close relationship researcher, I am always excited to review manuscripts on this topic. For example, I was excited to see "The Effects of Perceived Attractiveness on Expected Opening Gambit Style" published as well as "What Makes You Swipe Right?: Gender Similarity in Interpersonal Attraction in a Simulated Online Dating Context."

BRADLEY: We have published more than a hundred outstanding articles since I first joined the journal team. However, one article stands out to me as an especially fascinating topic. That article, is “The Effects of Age and Sex on Saving Pets Over Humans.” In it, the authors investigated the number of college-age students who indicated that they would choose to save their pet instead of an actual human being! I have found myself bringing up this article during many conversations, both at Psi Chi and beyond with my family and friends around the dinner table. In particular, I love to ask people to guess the percentage who save their pet! Research like this really goes a long way to remind me just how diverse the field of psychology really is.

DEBI: I can honestly say that I do not have one manuscript that sticks out more in my memory than any other. Every time we publish a new issue of the Psi Chi Journal I feel so much pride. I am truly as invested as every author and faculty mentor. It is exciting to watch the progression of every single manuscript from the moment it gets submitted to the day that it goes to press!

Why would you recommend for faculty members to submit, in addition to students?

ERIN: Psi Chi members are lifetime members, and publishing in our journal is one of the membership benefits. As a journal that publishes broadly about topics in psychology, publishing with us is a great way to increase readership and your audience. Often, faculty members publish in journals that are specific to their discipline, which means the audience is limited to people who specialize in their respective area. By publishing in Psi Chi Journal, faculty members can introduce students to a breadth of topics. Many faculty members also use Psi Chi Journal articles in their classes for teaching, so it's a great way to contribute to the education of students, and to introduce students to your particular area of expertise! Finally, our reviewers are top notch, and are known for being constructive and generally quite friendly. :)

JENNIFER: It is a great journal that publishes quality research. Also, by submitting, they will be supporting Psi Chi.

MARY BETH: Articles authored by faculty members will be inspirational to students. Students will see an article by a professor in their department and be proud of one of their mentors.

STEVE: The Psi Chi Journal's mission is not a topical one but a community one. Whereas other journals exist to serve as a publication outlet for research on a narrow set of topics, the Psi Chi Journal exists to serve as a publication outlet for all psychological researchers (across the subfields of psychology) who are members of Psi Chi. As a result, this is one of the few truly peer-reviewed generalist journals in psychology. I would especially consider this a good place for a faculty member to send manuscripts that address issues that span multiple subfields.

TAMMY: This is an amazing journal that publishes some excellent and timely research studies. I think faculty should definitely consider publishing with the journal.

DEBI: The Psi Chi Journal is an inclusive journal that does not reach just one field of psychology but rather it accepts manuscripts from every area of psychology. Additionally, we accept qualitative and quantitative methods. This enables us to support professional development and disseminate all types of psychological science.

In what ways has your involvement with the journal helped to advance your research experience and/or career?

ERIN: When conducting my own research, I now actively search for flaws or holes in my project that reviewers might find, and address them early on. My writing has also improved as a result of my work as a reviewer, and now as an Associate Editor. Finally, my involvement in the journal increases the quality of my teaching and mentorship regarding research; I use Psi Chi articles regularly, and often bring in anecdotes for students and my research team when discussing the research and publication process.

MARY BETH: An academic position typically involves teaching, research/scholarship, and service. I enjoy contributing to the Psi Chi community by serving as an Associate Editor.

TAMMY: I think that this experience has improved my methods for teaching writing to my research methods I, II, and II students. I have always been actively involved in research with undergraduates but my experience with the journal has led me to encourage students to consider the journal for their projects.

DEBI: Because the Psi Chi Journal accepts papers from every field of psychology, I have read and edited many types of research in many domains. I have learned so much about the greater field of psychology just by the exposure to such diverse research. This has helped me think through my own teaching techniques, scholarship, and mentoring advice.

Submissions to Psi Chi Journal are welcome year round. Undergraduate, graduate, and faculty authors are all invited to submit.


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Psychological Science in the Workplace and Life: Interview With Regan A. R. Gurung, PhD

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Writer/Journal Managing Editor, Friday, January 18, 2019


 

The Editorial Team for Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research is proud to announce a brand new call for abstracts for a special issue: “Psychological Science in the Workplace and Life.” This special issue was proposed by Dr. Regan A. R. Gurung (Psi Chi President-Elect, 2018–19). Dr. Gurung is an expert in many areas including the scholarship of teaching and learning, prejudice and impression formation, and health—as well as the application of psychological sciences into the real world.

Abstracts for the special issue are due October 1, 2019, and you are encouraged to view the full details HERE. This issue will be published in Summer 2020 as a part of Dr. Gurung’s 2019–20 Psi Chi Presidential Theme, “Psychological Science for All.” We are all very excited to explore the many applications of psychology throughout the upcoming year. To introduce the special issue and other future plans, Dr. Gurung kindly agreed to answer the following questions below.


What is the special issue about?

This issue is designed to highlight how psychology is applied in the real world. Many of our field’s most popular areas—clinical, school, Industrial/Organizational, Forensic—are heavily real-world focused. Whether in the realms of health, business, education, or the legal system, psychological science is used for improvement. This special issue is designed to highlight research in these diverse real-world settings. Are you doing research on teaching and learning, customer satisfaction, college mental health, human resource management, or any other realm of day to day life? We want to see it for this special issue.

What inspired you to suggest the topic for this special issue?

One of the most common questions I get as a faculty advisor is “Why should I major in psychology?” Too often students and the general public miss the fact that psychology is everywhere. I realized that part of the problem is that, when psychological science is applied, these applications are often not made explicit. In fact, psychological science is used in business (sales, HR), education, and in many areas of healthcare to name just a few areas.

Whereas only a small portion of psychology students go on to graduate school, all our students aim to enter the workforce. By highlighting the application of psychology, we better prepare our students for the workforce. Even when I teach Research Methods, I find that stressing the application of psychology makes students more willing to tackle the challenges of that course. I began changing my focus in the classroom to focus on stressing applications, and realized that even my research, especially work on teaching and learning, was very applied. This realization fueled a Ted Talk highlighting the application of psychology in life, and more recently led to my editing an Encyclopedia of Psychology Research in the Real World. These diverse factors inspired me to suggest the topic for this special issue.

The special issue will be in direct support of your 2019–20 Psi Chi Presidential Theme, “Psychological Science for All.” It’s still early in the year, but do you have any ideas for other programs, content, etc. that you would like to see as a result of this theme?


My goal is get psychological science out to people in every realm of life. You do not need to have gone to college or graduate school, or be working in psychology to benefit from psychological research. Psychology permeates every aspect of our lives but as a field we have successfully impressed this fact on the lay public. I am planning a series of webinars, social media campaigns with viral-worthy short videos, info graphics, and coordinated regional programming to highlight the benefits of psychology for daily life. I will focus on some key areas such as learning, coping, relationships, and productivity to focus the utility of psychological science (e.g., “Psych hacks for learning; Psych hacks for productivity).

You are a coauthor/faculty mentor on two separate student manuscripts currently undergoing the peer-review process for potential publication in Psi Chi Journal. What has your experience been like so far?

I can think of few better learning experiences for students than preparing their research for publication in the Psi Chi journal. Not only does each submission get a thorough APA style edit, the student is provided with precise guidance on how to write better. The reviewers are cognizant of student authorship and are constructive in their critiques, and the editors take pains to make the submission experience a growth experience. This involves detailed feedback and measured tone. My students and I have been impressed with both the speed and quality of reviews, and the help and support received through the entire process.

Why should a researcher want to be published in this special issue, or for that matter, in any issue of Psi Chi Journal?

This issue is especially geared toward any psychological scientist who is interested in explicitly applying psychology to real-world issues. Many colleagues work in applied settings and many more take pains to ensure their research can change how we live our lives. This special issue will highlight such efforts. This issue may be especially attractive to student researchers who enjoy seeing the applicability of psychology to everyday life.

The Psi Chi Journal is a flagship for our honor society and can serve as an inspiration to members at every level of their career but especially in the early years. Showcasing exemplary member research to inspire and motivate additional work, the journal should be on every members’ reading list. What better reasons to strive to be published in it?

Psi Chi’s mission statement is “Recognizing and promoting excellence in the science and application of psychology.” Why is the word application an important part of this statement?

Without applying knowledge, we fail to capitalize on the fruits of years of theoretical advances and a rich body of work that can change the very quality of our lives. The inclusion of this word is a stark reminder that, although we honor excellence, we go beyond just adulating robust theory, designs, and execution of research to ensure that the valuable outcomes serve to advance human functioning, happiness, productivity, and health. This special issue is designed to catalyze the application of psychology.

Do you have suggestions to help psychologists ensure that their research goes beyond academic publications and is ultimately applied in the real-world settings?

Publishing in a peer-reviewed journal has been a key goal for psychologists and is a worthy and established benchmark for science. It should not be the only venue to share research. With the increased usage of social media, podcasts, and blogs, psychologists have different venues to share their published work. We need to better leverage applications such as Twitter and podcasts to share psychology. Although Facebook is slowly becoming passé, it is still an easy way to share psychological research in an easy to digest and access format. I personally work to also publish in newspapers, outward facing outlets such as Psychology Today, and even appear on national public radio. For ideas on where and how to get out science, some of my outreach efforts can be seen HERE.

Anything else that you’d like to add?

This special issue provides an invitation to think about how you apply psychology and perhaps catalyze new research programs or chapter activities aimed to directly applying and measuring the utility of applying psychological science.

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How (and Why) to Preregister Your Research

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Writer/Journal Managing Editor, Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research recently released its first-ever special issue to promote the Open Science Badges program, which was created by members of the Open Science Collaboration to reward authors for conducting transparent research practices. You’ve probably heard about the recent replication crisis and other major public concerns about the validity of psychological science—these badges are an effective strategy to solidify your research practices, replicability, and transparency!

Should you consider applying for Badges? Absolutely! The four available badges when submitting to Psi Chi Journal are Open Materials, Open Data, Preregistration, and Replications. The last of these, the Replications badge, was special created by Psi Chi Journal in order to encourage replications submissions, which are crucial for increasing the reliability of psychological science.

When authors complete the necessary requirements, the appropriate badge or badges earned will be featured prominently on their Psi Chi Journal article for all to see (view an example). Specifically, today’s blog post provides more information about applying for the Preregistration badge.

What Is Preregistration?

In general, preregistration involves submitting a basic time-stamped design of your study. All preregistrations should be completed before conducting the study, and they cannot be modified after the preregistration is initially submitted. Preregistering research is important because it prevents accidental or deliberate “p-hacking,” which occurs when post-hoc adjustments are made to data or an analysis in order to find increased significance.

The new special issue features two articles that received a Preregistration badge: Self-Esteem, Self-Disclosure, Self-Expression, and Connection of Facebook: A Collaborative Replication Meta-Analysis and Participant Attentiveness to Consent Forms. For future issues, we are eager to publish additional articles that meet the requirements for this badge.

How to Preregister

Preregistering is easier than you might think! Just log in or create a free account at the OSF website. Then, after creating a new project, select “Registrations” and “New Registration” (see screenshot below).


You’ll notice that multiple Preregistration options are available. Currently, it is recommended that you select the “Prereg Challenge” option (see screenshot below). This option allows your manuscript to also be eligible for the $1,000,000 Preregistration Challenge, which consists of a thousand $1,000 awards to encourage authors to preregister their research.


Last of all, simply fill out the appropriate fields to ensure that your sampling, design, and analysis plans are solidified prior to conducting your study (see screenshot below).


What About Unexpected Changes?

In the event that your research design or analyses has to be changed after preregistering your study, you CAN still publish your article and receive a Preregistration badge. For example, it is possible that a reviewer might recommend a more appropriate procedure. The key, however, is to include a note describing exactly why the change in procedure occurred.

Applying for a Badge

Psi Chi Journal uses the disclosure application method. View the specific instructions to apply HERE. And of course, you are invited to review the new special issue, Open Science Practices: Badge of Honor, for additional examples of articles to receive the badges. We do hope that you will consider applying for a preregistration badge, as well as the others. Please direct any questions or suggestions to psichijournal@psichi.org.

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The Peer-Review Process Explained in Just Over 1,000 Words

Posted By Bradley Cannon, Psi Chi Writer/Journal Managing Editor, Thursday, October 11, 2018
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2018

 

Every year, students sitting at their computers freeze in fear. Scared stiff, chills race down their spines, their mouths become dry, and their fingers pause heavily, only an inch or so above the much dreaded SUBMIT BUTTON. We all know what time it is—it’s time to surrender a manuscript to the peer-review process, for the very first time!

Hi, I’m Bradley, the Managing Editor and APA Style Reviewer for Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research. I’ve overseen countless manuscripts moving through our journal’s submission portal. And in the past 5 years, I’ve conducted more than 1,000 APA Style reviews.

Today, I’ve got good news for you: Nobody has died from our journal’s peer-review process. Not even one . . . not even around Halloween!

So, relax. Try to do your best, and what will happen, will happen. Journal editors and reviewers are regular people. They put their pants on one leg at a time. They have favorite foods and favorite actors (for example, our Editor, Dr. Brannan, mentions Denzel Washington kind of a LOT!). And yes, although editors and reviewers do hold the fate of your publication in their hands, they also have your best interest at heart.

After all, most of them started out just like you! They all went through a very similar process that resulted in their “first publication.” Be assured, it was nerve-wracking for them too! Since then, many have become involved in editing and reviewing due to their passion for training future generations of psychologists to conduct exemplary research.



What Exactly Is Peer Review?

If you’ve written your first empirical manuscript, then you surely realize that doing so is an extremely complex process. Even the most experienced of researchers benefit from multiple eyes reviewing their works before publication. Therefore, the peer-review process is simply a procedure that allows a number of people who are experts in various fields to review your work in order to ensure that it is ready for publication.

Importantly, submissions are generally referred to as “masked” or “blind,” which simply means that all personally identifying information is removed in order to protect authors’ and reviewers’ identities from each other throughout the review process. This ensures a fair and unbiased process.

The Basic Steps of Peer Review

First, an author(s) submits a manuscript for publication. Again, this manuscript should generally be masked, meaning that all identifying author and school affiliations have been retracted in order to protect author(s) confidentiality. In the case of Psi Chi Journal, authors are also required to submit an unmasked cover page and a basic cover letter (which will only be seen by the Editor and Associate Editor). Undergraduate authors are also expected to submit a sponsor statement that is hand-signed by a faculty mentor. Complete submission guidelines for Psi Chi Journal are available online.

Second, the submitted manuscript is sent to the editor who decides whether to reject the manuscript or assign it to an appropriate associate editor. Our journal currently has one editor and five associate editors. The purpose in having associate editors is to lighten the load for the primary editor because no one person could single-handedly manage the number of submission received by our journal.

Third, the assigned associate editor then selects reviewers who have appropriate areas of expertise. Psi Chi Journal currently has 240+ doctoral-level reviewers, with primary subject areas ranging from clinical to social to experimental and beyond. The number of reviewers that most journals assign to each manuscript varies, but it is generally around two reviewers per manuscript. However, many of our Psi Chi Journal authors are students. So, in an attempt to provide our authors with the extra support that they need, we have opted to assign three reviewers per manuscript, in addition to the special APA Style review, conducted by yours truly!

Fourth, the reviewers each receive an email invitation to review. They either agree to review the manuscript (fingers crossed!) or they decline in the event that they are too busy or do not feel that they have adequate experience in the article’s specific subject area. If a reviewer declines to review, it is the associate editor’s responsibility to contact and secure a different reviewer until a satisfactory number of reviewers have been acquired for the manuscript. As you can imagine, it occasionally takes a little extra time to assign all reviewers to a manuscript—patience is a big part of the peer-review process!

Fifth, the reviewers submit their feedback to the associate editor. For Psi Chi Journal, reviewers are given four weeks from the date that they agree to review. Reviewers generally complete their assignments on time (because they are awesome and we adore them!). However, any reviewers who miss their deadlines are contacted by the associate editor with polite reminders as appropriate.

Sixth, the associate editor examines the feedback and eliminates any repetitive or contradictory advice given by the reviewers. Reviewers sometimes write comments that should remain confidential from the authors, so the associate editor reviews these private comments too. If necessary, the associate editor may contact a reviewer for clarification. And of course, associate editors include their own personal feedback too.

Seventh, the associate editor drafts a recommendation letter, which is sent to the primary editor for review and approval. The associate editor might also provide confidential comments to the editor, just like some of the reviewers might have written for the associate editor.

Eighth, the editor reviews and recommendation and sends an official decision letter to the author. If the manuscript is rejected, then the peer-review process is sadly at an end. Or, if the manuscript receives a Major Revisions or Conditional Acceptance decision, then the author is given one month to complete the necessary revisions and resubmit a revised manuscript. This basically resets the peer-review process at Step 1, again and again, until the Editor determines that the manuscript should be ultimately Accepted or Rejected.

Whatever decision letter you receive, we at Psi Chi Journal sincerely hope that the feedback provided by the reviewers and associate editor will help you to become a capable and well-rounded researcher. It is also our hope that the feedback will help you to conduct future research projects that you can submit to our journal.

So, there you have it—the peer-review process in just 1,000 words! (That wasn’t so scary, now was it?)

Thinking about submitting your research for publication? I encourage you to consider Psi Chi Journal. Our rigorous, yet supportive and educational, peer-review process is designed to support the growth of researchers at all points in their research careers. Undergraduate, graduate, and faculty submissions are welcome.

As Denzel Washington says, “Don’t aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference!” Find out if a career in research is right for you. Psi Chi Journal can help. Visit https://www.psichi.org/page/JN_Submissions.

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Our First Replication Badge: Doing It Over Again for the First Time

Posted By Steven V. Rouse, PhD, Pepperdine University, Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, August 15, 2018


In ways, the Table of Contents for the most recent issue of the Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research looks like most issues. In this issue, you’ll find roughly half a dozen well-written articles about well-designed empirical research studies, spanning topics as diverse as the perception of individuals with autism, the stress-buffering effect of self-compassion, and having a positive sense of one’s identity as a disabled person. The range and quality of the articles reflects the high quality of psychological research that you have come to expect in the journal. At first glance, this is nothing new.

However, when you look more closely, you will see something historic for our journal: each article title is accompanied by an Open Science Badge. Last year, we announced that the journal has joined many other psychological research journals in an effort to restore high standards of transparency and openness in psychological research by awarding badges to journal articles that take necessary steps to:

preregister their studies,

make their research materials publicly available,

and/or make their research data publicly available.

Following the guidelines written by the Center for Open Science, any article published in the journal can be designated with an Open Science badge if its authors have taken appropriate steps. By no means are authors required to take these steps in order to have their research considered for publication; after all, as I noted in the introduction to this issue, there are special considerations that might make it problematic to earn certain badges for certain studies in certain situations. But all eight of the articles in this recent issue serve as exemplars of research studies that took the steps necessary to earn one or more of these badges.

However, when you look even more closely, you will see something historic, not just for our journal but for psychological research in general. The first article in this journal, “Self-Esteem, Self-Disclosure, Self-Expression, and Connection on Facebook,” has an additional badge, designating it as a Replication study. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first article in any psychological research journal to receive a badge to designate it as a Replication study. Although Psi Chi agrees with the Center for Open Science about the importance of celebrating research that follows best practices of Open Data, Open Materials, and Preregistration, we have taken it upon ourselves to go one step further by creating our own Replication badge, unique to our journal, in order to highlight the value of this important type of research (as explained by Dr. John Edlund). For this reason, Leighton, Legate, LePine, Anderson, and Grahe (2018), the first recipients of our Replication badge, are groundbreakers.



Although this article was the first to receive the Replication badge, we know that many more will follow. If researchers would like to seek this badge, it will require more advanced planning than any of the other badges. A “direct replication” conscientiously follows the exact same steps as a previously published study, exploring whether the published effect generalizes to different settings and different populations. A “direct-plus replication” follows the same procedure as a previously published study, but includes additional variables; this not only allows for exploration of the generalizability of the published effect but also extends the literature to include new concepts. Therefore, both types of replications require planning that begins at the very earliest stages of research design.

Sometimes, historic moments are obvious; other times, they may be harder to recognize. In the most recent issue of the Psi Chi Journal, Leighton and his colleagues blazed new trails. We hope than many other researchers follow their path, conducting conscientious replications of previously published research to publish in the Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research.

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Celebrate Undergraduate Research Week With Psi Chi!

Posted By John E. Edlund, PhD, Psi Chi Research Director, Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2018



Dear Psi Chi Member,

I am proud to introduce Psi Chi’s first-ever celebration of Undergraduate Research Week! All students and faculty—not just undergrads—are invited to join us April 9–13 to shine a light on the latest generation of students striving to advance the science and application of psychology.

In 2010, Undergraduate Research Week was declared by the U.S. House of Representatives. Indeed, many professionals first discovered their passion for research when they were students. This celebration is to recognize those beginnings too, and for the mentors who cultivate countless bright minds. Here are four ways you can honor this special occasion:

1. Join a Research Project

Psi Chi NICE recently partnered with StudySwap, a free tool featuring dozens of projects actively seeking collaborators such as yourself. See the brand-new article which will appear in Eye on Psi Chi, “Undergrad Researchers Will Save Psychological Science,” to learn about additional research opportunities.

2. Receive Financial Support

Psi Chi provides $400,000 annually in awards, grants, and scholarships. This includes significant funding for undergraduate research awards, research grants, and travel grants to conventions. View a complete list of annual programs and deadlines.

3. Share and Support Current Research

Share about your current research projects on Facebook. Use hashtag #PsiChiURW. Specific projects, interests, conference attendance—we want to hear about it all! You are also encouraged to participate in online surveys conducted by Psi Chi members. Twenty-one studies are currently seeking participants; submit a link to your own surveys too.

4. Learn Something New

Over the years, Psi Chi has built up a wealth of free articles and resources about Conducting Research and Attending and Presenting at Conventions. You are welcome to use these in your classrooms and other endeavors.

Open Science Practices

Research Methods

Ethics

Publishing Your Work

Presenting at Conventions

Undergraduate research opportunities cultivate future generations of passionate and innovative researchers. I look forward to your participation in the celebration!

John E. Edlund, PhD
Psi Chi Research Director
Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)
research.director@psichi.org

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