What IOPsych Can Learn from the Wansink Scandal

I won’t try to rehash the sad tale of Brian Wansink here. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read all about it in The Washington Post. Or Time. Or Vox. Or CNN. Or Fox News.

So yeah, it’s a big story today. But it probably won’t be tomorrow. The same publications that made Wansink a celebrity will have moved on to fresh meat soon, so let’s see what we can learn from this mess before the media draws our attention to the next TED Talker.

Let’s embrace open science. No more excuses. When it comes to practices like research preregistration and open-access datasets, we shouldn’t be asking why? We should be asking why not? If you’re not going to preregister or share your data, you better have a damn good reason.

We shouldn’t be acting as if open science is some kind of hot new trend. There’s been plenty of time to consider the arguments against it, and most of them are weak sauce.

It’s not “Open Science,” anymore. It’s just science. It’s the way we do research now.

Open science wouldn’t have prevented every shabby practice Wansink is accused of, but if you have any doubts that preregistration would have made a difference, read this blog post by Wansink on his public site and the baffling discussion in the comments section.

 

About the Author

Ben Butina, Ph.D.
Dr. Butina, who hosts the Department 12 Podcast, is an industrial-organizational psychologist with interests in training, leadership development, talent management, and positive psychology in the workplace.

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