Do Open Science Badges Increase Trust in Scientists among Undergraduates, Scientists, and the Public?

Abstract:  Open science badges are a promising method to signal a study’s adherence to open science practices (OSP). In three experimental studies, we investigated whether badges affect trust in scientists by undergraduates (N = 270), scientists (N = 250), or the public (N = 257). Furthermore, we analyzed the moderating role of epistemic beliefs in this regard. Participants were randomly assigned to two of three conditions: Badges awarded (visible compliance to OSP), badges not awarded (visible noncompliance to OSP), and no badges (control). In all samples, our Bayesian analyses indicated that badges influence trust as expected with one exception in the public sample: an additional positive effect of awarded badges compared to no badges was not supported here. Further, we found evidence for the absence of a moderation by epistemic beliefs. Our results demonstrate that badges are an effective means to foster trust in scientists among target audiences of scientific papers.

Leave a Reply