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Eye on Psi Chi: Summer 2019
 

Engaging in Cross-Cultural Research With Psi Chi’s Network for International Collaborative Exchange (NICE)

Kelly Cuccolo, MA, University of North Dakota
https://doi.org/10.24839/2164-9812.Eye23.4.46
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Network for International Collaborative Exchange (NICE) 
Have you wanted to conduct cross-cultural research but don’t know where to start? Are you interested in learning about how various psychological variables may look in different cultures? Do you want to make a long-lasting and meaningful research contribution to the field? Well look no further, Psi Chi’s Network for International Collaborative Exchange (NICE) is here to help you accomplish your goals! The NICE is a Psi Chi program aimed at fostering cross-cultural research between Psi Chi members and nonmembers both within and outside of the United States. NICE consists of two prongs: CONNECT and CROWD. CONNECT is a network of researchers open to collaboration. CROWD seeks to gather many researchers to answer a specified research question by using the same protocol. Essentially, CROWD is a crowdsourcing initiative where many researchers will work together, using the same protocol, to generate data to answer a specific research question. This is an ongoing collaborative effort with a new CROWD project being launched each academic year! 

Understanding Family Dynamics in a Cross-Cultural Sample 
In June 2018, the NICE planning committee opened the call for project proposals, seeking NICE CROWD’s first project. Submissions were reviewed and evaluated on feasibility, cultural sensitivity, and long-term impact. The first project was submitted by Mary Moussa Rogers and Cliff McKinney of Mississippi State University and was implemented in August 2018. The project focused on determining if the Circumplex Model of family functioning fits across cross-cultural samples (e.g., regions of the United States, European countries, and Hong Kong). CROWD project contributors each administered a provided self-report survey to 100 emerging adults. The self-report battery included measures which assessed adaptability and cohesion dimensions of family dynamics, parent-child relationship characteristics, paternal discipline, reverence and honor of duty to family, risky behaviors, and emotional and interpersonal adjustment. The project has had over 40 contributors from over five different countries. Together, these contributors were able to collect over 2,600 cases of data! 

Why Be NICE? 
There are many reasons for faculty and students to become NICE contributors. 

FOR FACULTY. For faculty, being a contributor on the NICE:CROWD project provides a unique opportunity to discuss the scientific method, collaboration, and diversity with students. Each CROWD project submission is required to complete a preregistration template. A preregistration template is an a priori commitment to a research plan and design. The preregistration forces researchers to specify various aspects of the research plan including hypotheses, sampling plan, sample size, and analyses. After the CROWD project is chosen, the preregistration becomes available for all contributors. This provides you with an outlet to discuss important research methods concepts like power, null hypothesis testing, and the distinction between confirmatory and exploratory analyses, while providing students with a “real life” example they can work with. 

Additionally, because NICE:CROWD projects provide outlines detailing study hypotheses, measures, sampling size, analyses plan, and provide all measures/materials/protocols, they are perfect for implementation in research methods classes. Students can get experience with the steps of the scientific method, collaborating with each other to administer the study protocol, analyzing data to test hypotheses, and then additionally have a data set to practice coming up with and testing their own hypotheses. 

Psychology has also been faced with criticism regarding the reliance on Western Educated Industrialized Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) samples (Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan, 2010). CROWD provides a diverse dataset which blends itself to discussions regarding issues with relying on WEIRD samples, how and why culture may be expected to impact psychological variables, and challenging ethnocentrism. 

UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE STUDENTS. CROWD projects are also great opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to get research experience! Being a CROWD contributor offers the benefits of receiving access to the study protocol, all materials needed to run the project, and access to a large and diverse data set. This makes the study readily available for implementation, and access to the dataset provides students and faculty with an opportunity to explore hypotheses not addressed in the CROWD project! Likewise, CROWD provides a great opportunity for you to network with researchers from around the globe. I smell collaboration! Finally, being a CROWD contributor means you are eligible for authorship on future potential manuscripts resulting from the project! 

Okay, Okay—I’m Sold. How Do I Become a Contributor and What Does It Mean? 
The first step to being a NICE:CROWD contributor is to create an Open Science Framework (OSF) Account at http://help.osf.io/m/ account/l/696112-create-an-osf-account. The OSF hosts all things NICE, and is where you will be able to join the 2019–20 CROWD Project. Check out last year’s page at https://osf.io/qba7v/. Once you create your OSF account, add your info to this document so we can add you as a contributor on the 2019–20 CROWD Project OSF page (once the project is chosen; details about submitting a project can be found below). 

Once the CROWD project for the 2019–20 academic year is chosen, you will be added as a contributor to the project’s OSF page. After that, your first task as a contributor is to submit the appropriate documents to your institution’s institutional review board or ethical body. Don’t worry—NICE is there to help you! We will provide all measures being used in the project, the protocol, and examples of completed ethical documents to help you out. Once you receive approval from your institution’s human subjects review board, you should upload those approved forms to the project’s OSF page. After your approved ethical forms are on the project’s OSF page, you can start collecting data! Contributors are typically asked to collect 100 cases of data within one academic year. 

The data collection phase tends to run itself, but NICE’s planning committee is always around if you need assistance. After the data collection phase ends, it is time to analyze the data. This will primarily be done by project authors, with contributors reanalyzing the dataset for reproducibility. Once the data is analyzed, manuscript preparation can begin. There are various tiers of authorship available to contributors depending on how involved they are with the process. 

I’m interested in submitting a project. Do you have an idea for a research project that is feasible for cross-cultural implementation? We would love to have you submit a project proposal for NICE: CROWD 2019–20. Calls for submissions will open June 1, 2019, and close July 15, 2019. Projects can be submitted by uploading the appropriate documents to the CROWD Project Submission 2019–20 component of the NICE:CROWD OSF page. Submission requirements include the completion of a preregistration template, and CVs for each researcher involved in the project submission. 

Questions and More Information 
NICE:CROWD is a wonderful collaborative research opportunity for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. The project is easily implemented at any institution, as all the materials and protocols are available. Being a NICE:CROWD contributor mainly entails creating and maintaining an OSF account, submitting the appropriate documents to your institution’s ethical review board, and collecting data. The benefits of being a CROWD contributor include gaining valuable cross-cultural research experience, networking with researchers from around the globe, and authorship on potential manuscripts. Any questions about NICE can be directed to NICE Chair at nice.chair@psichi.org 

References 
Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33, 61–83. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X0999152X 
 

Kelly Cuccolo, MA, is a graduate student at the University of North Dakota. Her main research interest lies in understanding how various health behaviors impact cognition. She is additionally interested in open science initiatives and the teaching of psychology. Kelly has chaired Psi Chi’s Network for International Collaborative Exchange for two years, during which she implemented the first CROWD project. Through chairing this project, Kelly has become increasingly interested in advocating for open science practices and diversity in psychological research. She hopes to graduate with her PhD and obtain a job as a full-time professor. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys taking dance classes, baking, and writing. 
 

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Copyright 2019 (Vol. 23, Iss. 4) Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology


 
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Eye on Psi Chi is a magazine designed to keep members and alumni up-to-date with all the latest information about Psi Chi’s programs, awards, and chapter activities. It features informative articles about careers, graduate school admission, chapter ideas, personal development, the various fields of psychology, and important issues related to our discipline.

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