WEIRD Psychological Bias

Psychology research still focuses largely on subjects from WEIRD societies: Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic. 

In an analysis of papers, 90% failed to note participants’ socioeconomic status. Of those that mentioned nationality, 94% were from WEIRD samples.

Addressing the gap will require researchers to let go of resistance to citing demographics (a backlash to history’s xenophobic “studies” that tried to assign differences to ethnic groups) and find ways to overcome challenges in recruiting diverse sample populations. 

For publications, this means disrupting a system that rewards novelty over fixing the replication crisis and setting policies to favor research with non-WEIRD samples. 


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