PsyArXiv Preprints | Practice what you preach: Credibility-enhancing displays and the growth of open science
mdelhaye's bookmarks 2020-10-20
How can individual scientists most effectively spread the adoption of open science practices? Engaging in open science practices presents a social dilemma because they are individually costly (given the current incentive schemes in academia) but collectively beneficial (due to production of higher quality and more accessible science). Mechanisms for promoting cooperation in social dilemmas typically rely on normativity—but open science practices are still comparatively rare. Further, individuals may be tempted to dishonestly “virtue signal” due to growing support for open science. We formulate a solution based on the theory of credibility-enhancing displays: advocates who are known to themselves practice the behavior they are advocating for (particularly if they are prestigious) are more effective at convincing others—specifically because their actions provide an honest signal of their belief in the behavior’s value. Thus, advocates for open science practices should find ways to engage in those practices visibly and often.