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Presidential Plenary:

Toward a More Broadly Generalizable Science of Psychology: Issues, Challenges, Opportunities

Friday, March 1, 9:30-10:45 AM

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M. Lynne Cooper headshot

M. Lynne Cooper
Chair, SPSP President
University of Missouri


From an early influential paper by David Sears (1986) to a more recent analysis by Joe Henrich and colleagues (2010), scholars have warned of the high costs to our field of over-reliance on limited and highly homogeneous samples, especially convenience samples of undergraduate students. Participants in this session will explore this issue, seeking to answer the following questions: To what extent is over-reliance on highly homogeneous and non-representative samples an ongoing concern in contemporary social/personality psychology? What are the costs of reliance on a narrow data base? What are key barriers to increasing the diversity of samples and what can be done to overcome these barriers in the short and long-term? Finally, are efforts to enhance sample diversity synergistic with or inimical to current efforts to address replicability concerns in our field? Speakers will offer brief introductory comments, followed by an extended question and answer period, drawing on both prepared and audience questions.


Steven Heine headshot

Steven Heine
University of British Columbia


Veronica Benet-Martinez headshot

Veronica Benet-Martinez
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Yuichi Shoda headshot

Yuichi Shoda
University of Washington


Richard Lucas headshot

Richard Lucas
Michigan State University


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