COOL CLASSES: “Open Science and Inclusive Psychology”

This psychology course examines new initiatives in the field aimed at enhancing transparency, reproducibility, replicability, accessibility, and inclusiveness as well as their implications for improving psychological science.

Class name: “Open Science and Inclusive Psychology”

Taught by: Professor of Psychology Benjamin Le


Here’s what Le has to say about his course:

“Open science” is an approach to psychology research—and other disciplines as well—that is concerned with promoting transparency, replicability, reproducibility, and methodological rigor in the research process as a means of enhancing the robustness and reliability of findings in our field. It has become a primary concern in psychology science over the last eight years and has led to some revolutionary advances in best practices in the lab and with regards to data analysis, documentation, archiving, and sharing. At the heart of open science are issues of accessibility and inclusion to research findings and in the research process (e.g., the push toward “open access” publishing, concerns about diversity among researchers), and how scientific discoveries are communicated and validated based on the robustness of empirical evidence.

In my class we are exploring the causes and extent of the “replication crisis” in psychology, as well as learning about new developments in research methods, data analysis, peer-reviewed publishing, and scientific communication that are attempting to revolutionize how psychological science is conducted. My hope is that students in this course become critical consumers of research, develop skills to produce scientific knowledge through transparent methods in their own work, and always be attentive to access and inclusion in the scientific process.

This class is different from many of the department’s other courses, which are more content-based around a particular area of psychology—neuroscience, social psychology, etc.—in that it focuses on problems and solutions that are widely applicable to all areas of psychology, and can serve as the foundation for students moving forward in a range of paths in our department and beyond.

Many subdisciplines in psychology, including my field of social psychology, have been rapidly working to enhance the robustness of their research methods over the last decade, and a great number of these efforts have been spearheaded by students and researchers who are early in their careers. In my view, this is an essential foundation for training the next generation of psychological scientists, and it is irresponsible to not to teach our students about this revolution in our field. Courses in open science are taught in many psychology graduate programs, and the Haverford Psychology Department is one of the first to bring this perspective to undergraduates as a dedicated course.


See what other courses the Department of Psychology is offering this semester.

Cool Classes is a recurring series on the Haverblog that highlights interesting, unusual, and unique courses that enrich the Haverford College experience.