The emergence of COVID-19 has changed the state of psychological science: The foreseeable future of how psychologists will conduct research, and on what topics, is unclear. The current article provides a comprehensive perspective on how social psychologists can optimize their research in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, we (a) highlight psychological phenomena that are most likely to change during the wake of COVID-19; (b) discuss theoretical, methodological, and practical considerations of conducting research on these phenomena; and (c) outline promising directions for key programs of research. We conclude with meta-scientific considerations and critical evaluations of scientific reproducibility. By many projections, society will remain altered by the COVID-19 pandemic permanently, such that a “new normal” will emerge with regards to social norms and perceptions underlying the basic processes psychologists have studied for decades. Such shifts can, in turn, blur the lines between findings that denote failures to replicate and findings that reflect previously absent environmental influences on cognition and behavior. These considerations will be important for how psychologists evaluate theory, consider social-contextual boundary conditions of effects, and conceptualize what it means for science to be truly reproducible.
- severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
- Novel coronavirus