Mentioning the Sample’s Country in the Article’s Title Leads to Bias in Research Evaluation

Rotem Kahalon, Verena Klein, Inna Ksenofontov, Johannes Ullrich, Stephen C. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychology research from Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (WEIRD) countries, especially from the United States, receives more scientific attention than research from non-WEIRD countries. We investigate one structural way that this inequality might be enacted: mentioning the sample's country in the article title. Analyzing the current publication practice of four leading social psychology journals (Study 1) and conducting two experiments with U.S. American and German students (Study 2), we show that the country is more often mentioned in articles with samples from non-WEIRD countries than those with samples from WEIRD countries (especially the United States) and that this practice is associated with less scientific attention. We propose that this phenomenon represents a (perhaps unintentional) form of structural discrimination, which can lead to underrepresentation and reduced impact of social psychological research done with non-WEIRD samples. We outline possible changes in the publication process that could challenge this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-361
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • culture
  • culture/ethnicity
  • diversity
  • publication bias
  • publication practice
  • structural discrimination


Dive into the research topics of 'Mentioning the Sample’s Country in the Article’s Title Leads to Bias in Research Evaluation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this