Meet Psychological Science’s New Statistical Advisors

Editors for Psychological Science are getting a new tool to evaluate methods and statistics used in submitted research articles: Psychological Science Interim Editor in Chief D. Stephen Lindsay and the journal’s Senior Editors have recruited a team of statistical advisors.

Psychological Science editors will have the ability to call on these advisors to supplement existing areas of expertise and ensure that the theoretical claims made within papers are justified by the methods and statistics used, Lindsay says.

“In some cases, an editor will see from the get-go that a paper puts a lot of emphasis on a complex method or analysis and will ask a member of this team to serve as a stats/methods-oriented reviewer,” he says, describing his vision. “In other cases, an issue might arise when the reviews come in and the editor might just want consultation on a particular issue. Or there might be cases in which issues arise after an article has been published, in which case I might seek the advice of a Statistical Advisor.”

The six new Statistical Advisors are APS Fellow Richard Gonzalez (University of Michigan), Emilio Ferrer (University of California, Davis), Greg Francis (Purdue University), Monica Melby-Lervåg (University of Oslo, Norway), Richard Morey (Cardiff University), and Tessa West (New York University). These psychological scientists are experts in modeling, multivariate statistics, Bayesian approaches, meta-analysis, and more.

The introduction of this new team of Statistical Advisors is part of Psychological Science and APS’s commitment to improving replicability and reproducibility. A background and summary of some of APS’s other initiatives can be found in Lindsay’s December 2015 editorial on replicability in Psychological Science.


May I ask why not choose ‘Statistical’ advisors from Statisticians?

The noted advisory group clearly has the requisite understanding of research/statistical designs, measurement, and human behavior.

I do think however, that one or two statisticians in this group might help to provide insights at times that social science training does not cultivate. Their presence would help ensure the research integrity being sought.

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