Promoting scientific integrity in health psychology research and publishing

Conference Venue: National University of Ireland Galway

Facilitators: Professor Gerjo Kok, Professor Aleksandra Luszczynska, Professor Charles Abraham, and Dr Gjalt-Jorn Peters

Regular fee: €250

Reduced fee: €150 (for all participants working in countries that are ranked low income or lower middle income. For a list of eligible countries click on the following link: worldbank ranking)


As a scientific society, the European Health Psychology Society has influence on scientific practices, and one of the instruments we have available are our publishing policies. Such policies can be crafted to minimize questionable research practices. For example, deliberately adjusting or misrepresenting statistical analyses to mislead the audience into thinking that a study’s outcomes were different from what the data suggest is clearly wrong. Journals can take a number of steps to make such strategies hard or impossible. On the other hand, many researchers who engage in questionable research practices do so with the best of intentions. Which policies would be constructive policies for the EHPS journals to adopt? Should Full Disclosure (publishing of protocols, materials, stimuli, data, analysis scripts, and output) be enforced? Should studies that were not preregistered still be accepted? Are publishing policies the way to go at all? Which other instruments can the EHPS use to promote scientific integrity in health psychology? This Expert Meeting will be used to discuss whether the EHPS, as a society, has a role in promoting scientific integrity in health psychology, and if so, what. The product will be a proposal to the executive committee and the journal editors.

The schedule will be determined partly based on the expertise of those attending. The first day will be focused on Questionable Research Practices, especially those particularly prominent in Health Psychology. The second day will be focused on remedies to optimise the scientific integrity of health psychology, such as can be employed in supervision of PhD. candidates and other colleagues, publishing policies, and societal codes of conduct. We will circulate a number of blog posts (and some brief papers) that will briefly be summarized when we start with the Expert Meeting to provide some background, specifically (this list will probably be extended):

  • Simmons, Nelson & Simonsohn (2011) False-Positive Psychology: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant (paper)

  • Janz (2015) Is withholding your data simply bad science, or should it fall under scientific misconduct? (blog post)

  • Lebel & Scheel (2017) Need for New Code of Ethics Compliance for Professional Researchers in Era of Hyper-Competitive High-Stake Academic Culture (blog post)

  • Schimmack (2015) Questionable Research Practices: Definition, Detect, and Recommendations for Better Practices (blog post)

  • Gelman & Loken (2013) The garden of forking paths: Why multiple comparisons can be a problem, even when there is no “fishing expedition” or “p-hacking” and the research hypothesis was posited ahead