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 journalArticle


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


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Psychology(all)

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