NWO Vici grant for research Prof. Jelte Wicherts on causal effects in psychological experiments

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The NWO has awarded Professor of Methodology Jelte Wicherts a Vici grant of one and a half million euros for his research on differences in causal effects in experiments. In experiments in psychology and other fields, scientists look for causal effects, while it is possible that those effects are not the same for everyone. Investigating that properly is challenging, therefore Wicherts will develop new methods in this project. The five-year project will allow Wicherts to appoint three PhD students and a postdoc.

Controlled experiments in psychology and other fields aim to discover the causes of behavior. However, it is often unclear whether and if so why experimental effects are stronger for some individuals than for others, and why similar studies show different effects.

To understand and generalize variation in found effects for theory and practice, this project investigates methodological challenges that may lead to biased results and incorrect conclusions. The project develops and validates new psychometric, statistical, and methodological solutions that enable researchers in different fields to better understand when and in whom effects occur.

Jelte Wicherts (1976) is Professor of Methodology in the Department of Methods and Techniques at the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. With his meta-research group, he studies scientific practices and research methods to identify weaknesses in them and develop better methods to strengthen science. He is interested in a wide range of topics related to individual differences in intelligence, statistical error, reproducibility, publication bias, p-hacking, transparency, and psychometrics.

The title of the project is: Examining Variation in Causal Effects in Psychology. Jelte Wicherts can be reached at: J.M.Wicherts@tilburguniversity.edu.