Several calls have recently been issued to the social sciences for enhanced transparency of research processes, and enhanced rigor in the methodological treatment of data and data analytics. We propose the use of Graphical Descriptives (GDs) as a mechanism for addressing both of these calls. Graphical Descriptives provide a way to visually examine data. They serve as quick and efficient tools for checking data distributions, variable relationships, and the potential appropriateness of different statistical analyses (i.e., do data meet the minimum assumptions for a particular analytic method). Consequently, we believe that GDs can promote increased transparency in the journal review process, encourage best practices for data analysis, promote a more inductive approach to understanding psychological data, and as a tertiary advantage help to detect problematic data.


Louis Tay

Louis Tay is an Assistant Professor in psychology at Purdue University. His research interests lie in well-being and research methodology. He has published in journals such as Psychological Bulletin, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, and Emotion Review. He serves on the editorial boards of four journals: Journal of Applied Psychology, Psychological Assessment, Organizational Research Methods, and Journal of Management. His research has been featured in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Scientific American Mind, Psychology Today, and MSNBC. He was recognized as a “Rising Star” by the Association of Psychological Science in 2015.

Scott Parrigon

Scott Parrigon is a doctoral student in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Purdue University. Prior to coming to Purdue, Scott received his B.S. in Psychology and Sociology from Missouri State University and his M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Scott's major research interests include the psychological classification of situations, person and situation interactions, identifying and implementing novel statistical methodologies, and better understanding how individual and organizational processes unfold over time. Scott is also interested in methodological, measurement, and ethical issues in Organizational Psychology.

James M. LeBreton

James M. LeBreton is a Professor of Psychology at Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on linking implicit motives (e.g., aggression) to behavior in organizations (e.g., counterproductive work behavior, leadership, team performance). James also conducts research involving the development and application of new statistics and research methods. In 2009, James was awarded the Early Career Award from the Academy of Management’s Research Methods Division and the Center for the Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis (CARMA). James is currently serving as the editor at Organizational Research Methods and is on the editorial boards for Archives of Scientific Psychology, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Journal of Management.