The Psychological Science Accelerator: Advancing Psychology through a Distributed Collaborative Network




open science, transparency, large collaborations, crowdsourcing


Concerns have been growing about the veracity of psychological findings. Many findings in psychological science are based on studies with insufficient statistical power and non-representative samples, or may otherwise be limited to specific, ungeneralizable settings or populations. Large-scale collaboration, in which one or more research projects are conducted across multiple lab sites, offers a pragmatic solution to these and other current methodological challenges. The Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA) is a distributed network of laboratories designed to enable and support crowdsourced research projects. The PSA’s mission is to accelerate the accumulation of reliable and generalizable evidence in psychological science. Here, we describe the background, structure, principles, procedures, benefits, and challenges of the PSA. In contrast to other crowdsourced research networks, the PSA is ongoing (as opposed to time-limited), efficient (in terms of re-using structures and principles for different projects), decentralized, diverse (in terms of participants and researchers), and inclusive (of proposals, contributions, and other relevant input from anyone inside or outside of the network). The PSA and other approaches to crowdsourced psychological science will advance our understanding of mental processes and behaviors by enabling rigorous research and systematically examining its generalizability.

Author Biography

Gerit Pfuhl, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Department of Psychology