Ten Steps Toward a Better Personality Science – How Quality May Be Rewarded More in Research Evaluation


  • Daniel Leising Orcid
  • Isabel Thielmann Orcid
  • Andreas Glöckner Orcid
  • Anne Gärtner Orcid
  • Felix Schönbrodt Orcid


This target article is part of a theme bundle including open peer commentaries (https://doi.org/10.5964/ps.9227) and a rejoinder by the authors (https://doi.org/10.5964/ps.7961). We point out ten steps that we think will go a long way in improving personality science. The first five steps focus on fostering consensus regarding (1) research goals, (2) terminology, (3) measurement practices, (4) data handling, and (5) the current state of theory and evidence. The other five steps focus on improving the credibility of empirical research, through (6) formal modelling, (7) mandatory pre-registration for confirmatory claims, (8) replication as a routine practice, (9) planning for informative studies (e.g., in terms of statistical power), and (10) making data, analysis scripts, and materials openly available. The current, quantity-based incentive structure in academia clearly stands in the way of implementing many of these practices, resulting in a research literature with sometimes questionable utility and/or integrity. As a solution, we propose a more quality-based reward scheme that explicitly weights published research by its Good Science merits. Scientists need to be increasingly rewarded for doing good work, not just lots of work.