Introduction

The book is Open Access and available at https://psy-ops.com.

This is a book about the operational side of research in psychology. In other words, it’s about what you do when you do research in psychology. It could have been called “Practical Tips for Psychological Science,” but that sounds far less cool than Psy Ops, which has connotations of telekinesis and sorcery. To a degree, those connotations are appropriate: I think you’ll find that some of the things you can learn in this book aren’t that much unlike sorcery.

This is not a textbook; it tries to prescribe best practices, but is necessarily somewhat idiosyncratic and opinionated. After all, there are usually many ways to do things, and although some ways will be objectively worse or better, this is often partly in the eye of the beholder.

The book is divided into three parts: context, tools, and operations. First, operations (i.e. things you do in practice) are not executed in a vacuum; such executions have context. Psychological operations are means to engage in psychological science, and therefore, they are embedded in that context. Second, doing things often requires tools. Before describing how to do things, the tools are introduced. Third, the part about operations describes workflows that leverage these tools to do psychological science in an efficient, transparent, and integreous manner.