Cambridge University Press, 2023

Psychology has a WEIRD problem. It is overly reliant on participants from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic societies. Over the last decade this problem has come to be widely acknowledged. However, psychologists have so far made little progress in making psychology more diverse. We propose that the lack of progress can be explained by the fact that the original WEIRD critique was too narrow in scope. The WEIRD critique was originally framed as a single problem of a lack of diversity among research participants. But in fact there are at least four overlapping problems. Psychological science is WEIRD not only in terms of who makes up its participant pool, but also in terms of its theoretical commitments, methodological assumptions, and institutional structures. Psychological science as currently constituted is a fundamentally WEIRD enterprise. Coming to terms with this is necessary if we wish to make psychology relevant for all humanity.

KEYWORDS: WEIRD psychology; theory and methods; institutional structures and incentives; cross-cultural research; diversity

Sanches de Oliveira, G., & Baggs, E. (2024). Psychology’s WEIRD Problems (Elements in Psychology and Culture). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Online ISBN: 9781009303538. DOI: