Researcher Degrees of Freedom in the Psychology of Religion

Sarah Jane Charles, James E Bartlett, Kyle Messick, Tommy Coleman III, Alex Uzdavines

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)
    100 Downloads (Pure)


    There is a push in psychology toward more transparent practices, stemming partially as a response to the replication crisis. We argue that the psychology of religion should help lead the way toward these new, more transparent prac- tices to ensure a robust and dynamic subfield. One of the major issues that proponents of Open Science practices hope to address is researcher degrees of freedom (RDF). We pre-registered and conducted a systematic review of the 2017 issues from three psychology of religion journals. We aimed to identify the extent to which the psychology of religion has embraced Open Science practices and the role of RDF within the subfield. We found that many of the methodologies that help to increase transparency, such as pre-registration, have yet to be adopted by those in the subfield. In light of these findings, we present recommendations for addressing the issue of transparency in the psychology of religion and outline how to move toward these new Open Science practices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)230-245
    Number of pages16
    JournalThe International Journal for the Psychology of Religion
    Issue number4
    Early online date1 Oct 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion on 1/10/19, available online:

    Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Religious studies
    • Psychology(all)


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