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Opening Psychology… What? Why? How? Who? When?

Images of the CAB members in a circle with the OPRC logo

In June 2022, The Open Psychology Research Centre will be hosting an online and in-person event, leading a discussion about the shape of openness in psychology. The event will welcome an international panel of speakers and advisors to offer insight on openness within the field. 

The discipline of psychology is becoming ever more important and prominent in today's globally interconnected, crisis-ridden, and fast-changing world. More than 135,000 students have chosen to enrol in psychology degrees in the UK alone, and an estimated 37,000 people are employed as practising psychologists. All aspects of life, from health to media to sport and culture, are now the province of sub-disciplines of psychological experts.  

Psychologists often appear in the media offering expert commentaries and insights, and professional psychological bodies increasingly seek to influence their societies through social media platforms, podcasts, and policy initiatives. 

Despite this increasing popularity, academic psychologists have been criticised on matters such as open science, decolonisation, human rights, and the medicalisation of distress caused by increasing social inequality. Academic psychologists openly offer their expertise while facing criticism for not being open about their methodologies and management.   

The Open University is the largest provider of psychology higher education in the UK. As such, we have an obligation to lead an ethical and reflective discussion about the shape of openness in psychology. We must lead discussions about different forms of openness, methodology, findings, and values, asking 'who profits and who loses when psychology is opened or closed up?'.

Here at The OU School of Psychology & Counselling, we strive to create the spaces for such discussion as a uniquely broad and diverse base of students invest trust in our expanding range of psychology degree programs.

Find out more about the Centre Advisory Board.

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