Etienne P. LeBel, Ph.D.
Independent Meta-Scientist, Western University


I'm an independent meta-scientist who investigates the efficiency, transparency, falsifiability, ethics, and trustworthiness of scientific research, with a particular focus on the field of psychology. Such topics are explored in depth in my upcoming book Dangerous Deceptions: Adventures in Broken Science. I previously lead, a naturalistic study on methodological reporting practices in psychology that contributed to raising journal reporting standards. My current efforts are focused on Curate Science, an effort to accelerate scientific progress by quantifying the trustworthiness of published scientific findings through crowdsourcing the internal and external trustworthiness of empirical research (internal trustworthiness = transparency & analytic reproducibility/robustness; external trustwothiness = replicability & generalizability).

My background is in social psychology where I primarily investigated prejudice and stereotyping, attitudes and persuasion, romantic relationships, and methodological issues in psychology research (e.g., metric calibration; levels-of-analysis problem; measurement issues related to replicability, hypothesis testing, and construct validity).

Submitted/Working Papers

LeBel, E. P., Vanpaemel, W., McCarthy, R., Earp, B., & Elson, M. (2017). A unified framework to quantify the trustworthiness of empirical research. Manuscript under review at Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science. [PsyArXiv preprint]

Published Articles & Chapters (see for full list)

LeBel, E. P., Berger, D., Campbell, L., & Loving, T. J. (in press). Falsifiability is not optional. Forthcoming at Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. [PsyArXiv preprint]

LeBel, E. P., Campbell, L., & Loving, T. J. (in press). Benefits of open and high-powered research outweigh costs. Forthcoming at Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. [SSRN pre-print] [PsyArXiv preprint] [Shiny App]

Heino, M., Fried, E. I., & LeBel, E. P. (2017). Complex phenomena require sophisticated designs: Why we shouldn't give up on replicability. Frontiers in Psychology. [PDF] [PsyArXiv preprint]

LeBel, E. P., & John, L. (2017). Psychological and institutional obstacles toward more transparent reporting of psychological science. Published in S. O. Lilienfeld & I. D. Waldman (Eds.), Psychological Science Under Scrutiny: Recent Challenges and Proposed Solutions. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. [PDF] [Buy from]

Cheung, I., Campbell, L., LeBel, E.,...Yong, J. C. (2016). Registered Replication Report of Finkel, Rusbult, Kumashiro, & Hannon's (2002) Study 1. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11, 750-764. DOI: 10.1177/1745691616664694 [PDF] [Finkel Commentary] [Blog post]

LeBel, E. P. (2015). A new replication norm for psychology. Collabra, 1(4), 1-13. [Article]

Aarts, A. A. ... , LeBel, E. P., ... , Nosek, B. A. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349, aac4716 DOI: 10.1126/science.aac4716 [PDF]

Madurski, C.*, & LeBel, E. P. (2015). Making sense of the noise: Replication difficulties of Correll's (2008) modulation of 1/f noise in a racial bias task. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22, 1135-1141. (*Student author) DOI: 10.3758/s13423-014-0757-4 [PDF] [SSRN pre-print]

Battista, C., Gauvrit, N., & LeBel, E. P. (2015). Madness in the method: Fatal flaws in triple-blind mediumship research. Published in M. Martin & K. Augustine (Eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case Against Life After Death. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. [Buy on]

Campbell, L., Loving, T. J., & LeBel, E. P. (2014). Enhancing transparency of the research process to increase accuracy of findings: A guide for relationship researchers. Personal Relationships, 21, 531-545. DOI: 10.1111/pere.12053 [PDF] [SSRN pre-print]

LeBel, E. P., & Wilbur, C. J. (2014). Big secrets do not necessarily cause hills to appear steeper. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21, 696-700. DOI 10.3758/s13423-013-0549-2 [PDF]

LeBel, E. P., & Campbell, L. (2013). Heightened sensitivity to temperature cues in highly anxiously attached individuals: Real or elusive phenomenon? Psychological Science, 24, 2128-2120. DOI: 10.1177/0956797613486983 [PDF] [Addendum] [Supplementary Materials]

LeBel, E. P., Borsboom, D., Giner-Sorolla, R., Hasselman, F., Peters, K. R., Ratliff, K. A., & Smith, C. T. (2013). Grassroots support for reforming reporting standards in psychology. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8, 424-432. DOI: 10.1177/1745691613491437 [PDF] [Supplementary Materials]
†Initiative mentioned in New Yorker piece on cleaning up science.

LeBel, E. P., & Campbell, L. (2013). The interactive role of implicit and explicit partner evaluations on ongoing affective and behavioral romantic realities. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 167-174. DOI: 10.1177/1948550612448196 [PDF]

Open Science Collaboration (2012). An open, large-scale, collaborative effort to estimate the reproducibility of psychological science. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 657-660. [PDF]

Paunonen, S. V., & LeBel, E. P. (2012). Socially desirable responding and its elusive effects on the validity of personality assessments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 158-175. DOI: 10.1037/a0028165 [PDF] [Monte Carlo Syntax]

LeBel, E. P., & Peters, K. R. (2011). Fearing the future of empirical psychology: Bem's (2011) evidence of psi as a case study of deficiencies in modal research practice. Review of General Psychology, 15, 371-379. DOI: 10.1037/a0025172 [PDF]
†Research covered in Time magazine Ideas piece on trust in psychological research.

LeBel, E. P., & Paunonen, S. V. (2011). Sexy but often unreliable: Impact of unreliability on the replicability of experimental findings involving implicit measures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 570-583. DOI: 10.1177/0146167211400619 [PDF] [Monte Carlo Syntax]

LeBel, E. P. (2011). Metric calibration of psychological instruments: Utility and feasibility. Saarbrucken, Germany: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing. [Buy on] [PDF]

LeBel, E. P. (2010). Attitude accessibility as a moderator of implicit and explicit self-esteem correspondence. Self and Identity, 9, 195-208. DOI: 10.1080/15298860902979166 [PDF]

LeBel, E. P., & Gawronski, B. (2009). How to find what's in a name: Scrutinizing the optimality of five scoring algorithms for the name-letter task. European Journal of Personality, 23, 85-106. DOI: 10.1002/per.705 [PDF] [NLT Scoring Algorithm (SPSS Syntax)]

LeBel, E. P., & Campbell, L. (2009). Implicit partner affect, relationship satisfaction, and the prediction of romantic breakup. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 1291-1294. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.07.003 [PDF] [Partner NLT Scoring Algorithm (SPSS Syntax)] [Supp Materials]

Gawronski, B., & LeBel, E. P. (2008). Understanding patterns of attitude change: When implicit measures show change, but explicit measures do not. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 1355-1361. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2008.04.005 [PDF]

Gawronski, B., LeBel, E. P., & Peters, K.P. (2007). What do implicit measures tell us? Scrutinizing the validity of three common assumptions. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2, 181-193. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6916.2007.00036.x [PDF]

Working Papers

LeBel, E. P., & Campbell, L. (2015). Bold conjectures meet open science: Accelerating theory development in social psychology by testing riskier predictions via pre-registration. Unpublished manuscript, Western University. [Abstract]

LeBel, E. P., Borsboom, D., Hasselman, F., & Stahl, C. (2014). Overcoming experimental psychology's replicability crisis by studying humans at the intra- rather than inter-individual level. Unpublished manuscript, Montclair State University. [Working Paper] [Intra-Individual Projects]

Tobin, C., & LeBel, E. P. (2014). Replication difficulties of Payne, Hall, Cameron, and Bishara's (2010) multinomial processing tree model of the affect misattribution procedure. Unpublished manuscript, Montclair State University. [SSRN pre-print]

LeBel, E. P., & Stahl, C. (2013). Modeling mechanism heterogeneity in the affect misattribution procedure: A hierarchical latent-class multinomial processing tree model approach. Unpublished manuscript, Montclair State University. [Working Paper]

Media Coverage

How the Reproducibility Crisis in Academia is Affecting Scientific Research (Forbes Magazine, February 9, 2017)

Why Academic Research is So Unpredictable and What We Can Do to Fix It (Huffington Post, February 9, 2017)

Why is so much research dodgy? (The Guardian, October 17, 2016)

Effect of Commitment on Forgiveness Investigated in Large-Scale Replication Project (APS Press Release, September 30, 2016)

The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists (Vox, September 7, 2016)

We need to talk about the bad science being funded (The Conversation, July 18, 2016)

Why so much science research is flawed -- and what to do about it (New Scientist, April 13, 2016)

Sloppy Science: Are Sketchy Practices in the Lab to Blame for the Replication Crisis in Psychology Research? (Slate Magazine, March 21, 2016)

Does social science have a replication crisis? (The Washington Post, March 9, 2016)

The six most interesting psychology papers of 2015 (The New Yorker, December 26, 2015)

Whistle-blower scientist wins $10K prize (London Free Press, December 14, 2015)

Make Science More Reliable, Win Cash Prizes: Honoring young researchers who champion rigorous, transparent research is a small step towards changing the culture of science. (The Atlantic, December 10, 2015)

Taxpayer-funded research agencies 'need to wake up' (London Free Press, September 20, 2015)

London scientist Etienne LeBel has exposed questionable work of senior researchers (London Free Press, Stratford Beacon Herald, St. Thomas Times, September 5, 2015)

'Hobo scientist' presses for truth in journals (Ottawa Citizen, September 5, 2015)

Scientists' claims fail rebel's smell test (Sarnia Observer, September 5, 2015)

We tried to reproduce 100 published psychological studies -- the results were abysmal (National Post, August 28, 2015)

Of 100 Published Psychology Studies, Less Than Half Could Be Reproduced Successfully (Popular Science, August 27, 2015)

Study delivers bleak verdict on validity of psychology experiment results (The Guardian, August 27, 2015)

How Reliable Are Psychology Studies? (The Atlantic, August 27, 2015)

Replication Gone Wrong (The Scientist, May 29, 2014)

A happy marriage? It's all about gut feelings (Skeptical appraisal of) (The Telegraph, November 28, 2013)

Cleaning up science (The New Yorker, December 21, 2012)

Can We Trust Psychological Research? (Time Magazine, July 17, 2012)

Older Essays

LeBel, E. P. (2005). The effect of subliminal self-affirmation on stereotype activation. Unpublished manuscript, University of Waterloo. [PsyArXiv preprint]

LeBel, E. P. (2004). The vanity construct re-examined: LeBel's vanity scale. Unpublished manuscript, University of Waterloo. [PsyArXiv preprint]

LeBel, E. P. (2004). Semantic priming in the dual task paradigm. Unpublished manuscript, University of Waterloo. [PsyArXiv preprint]

LeBel, E. P. (2003). Need for cognition and attributions in intimate relationships. Unpublished manuscript, University of Waterloo. [PsyArXiv preprint]

LeBel, E. P. (2003). Effects of physical attractiveness on relation initiation. Unpublished manuscript, University of Waterloo. [PsyArXiv preprint]

LeBel, E. P. (2003). Human mate poaching and enticement processes revisited. Unpublished manuscript, University of Waterloo. [PsyArXiv preprint]

LeBel, E. P. (2003). Prosperous deviance: Drug trafficking. Unpublished manuscript, University of Waterloo. [PsyArXiv preprint]

LeBel, E. P. (2002). Creativity and mood disorders: Both deviances? Unpublished manuscript, University of Waterloo. [PsyArXiv preprint]