Episode 23: Whose Psychology Is It Anyway? Making Psychological Research More Representative

This is Episode 23 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest. Download here.

In this episode, Emily Reynolds, staff writer at Research Digest, explores modern psychology’s relationship with race and representation. It’s well-known that psychology has a generalisability problem, with studies overwhelmingly using so-called “WEIRD” participants: those who are Western and educated and from industrialised, rich and democratic societies. But how does that shape the assumptions we make about participants of different racial identities or cultures? And how can top-tier psychology journals improve diversity among not only participants but also authors and editors?

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Dr Bobby Cheon, Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and Dr Steven O. Roberts, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.

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Episode credits: Presented and produced by Emily Reynolds. Script edits by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

Background reading for this episode

Research mentioned in this episode includes:

Other relevant posts from the Research Digest and The Psychologist archives include:

Researchers Assume White Americans Are More Representative Of Humankind Than Other Groups, According To Analysis Of Psychology Paper Titles
Psychology research is still fixated on a tiny fraction of humans – here’s how to fix that
Which human experiences are universal?
‘We need to broaden the conversation to institutional bias’
‘We don’t just need warm words, we need actions’
WEIRD science… Priya Maharaj responds to a piece from our Research Digest blog
‘I understood when I listened to people’s stories’
‘Without positive action, we risk living in a world that has potential to rob people of their dignity and sense of agency’: A collection of articles from recent years on racism in psychology and the psychology of racism

Past PsychCrunch episodes:

Episode one: Dating and Attraction
Episode two: Breaking Bad Habits
Episode three: How to Win an Argument
Episode four: The Psychology of Gift Giving
Episode five: How To Learn a New Language
Episode six: How To Be Sarcastic 
Episode seven: Use Psychology To Compete Like an Olympian.
Episode eight: Can We Trust Psychological Studies?
Episode nine: How To Get The Best From Your Team
Episode ten: How To Stop Procrastinating
Episode eleven: How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Episode twelve: How To Be Funnier
Episode thirteen: How to Study and Learn More Effectively
Episode fourteen: Psychological Tricks To Make Your Cooking Taste Better
Episode fifteen: Is Mindfulness A Panacea Or Overhyped And Potentially Problematic?
Bonus episode (sixteen): What’s It Like To Have No Mind’s Eye?
Episode seventeen: How To Make Running Less Painful And More Fun
Episode eighteen: How To Boost Your Creativity
Episode nineteen: Should We Worry About Screen Time?
Episode twenty: How to cope with pain
Episode twenty-one: How To Stay Connected In The “New Normal”