Long story short, I have some ideas regarding the field of psychology and I looking into ways to validate them with people with experience.

Options I see:

  1. Submit a paper and wait feedback from a journal. I understand the hurdles that come with this option. I'm wondering if this is totally unrealistic for non statistics based psychology.
  2. Contact people in the academia. I'm not sure If anyone would even listen. Moreover, I am not very familiar with the jargon and I can't quite communicate my ideas in a casual conversation.
  3. Write a book. This is definitely a non-scientific approach but may be more feasible considering how revolutionizing was Eric Ries and Lean Startup in the field of management.

I appreciate deeply any insights, personal experiences or comments.

  • 1
    There'll be a problem if you are truly "unfamiliar with the jargon", whether you try to talk to people or submit a paper to a peer-reviewed journal. Likewise, if you write a book but/and without connecting to "the jargon", no one will take it seriously. Aug 9 '19 at 23:36
  • 2
    Why not get a PhD and learn how to do it from inside academia? The whole point of a PhD is to answer the question you are after if you skip the last couple words. If you don't think the effort is worth it then neither are your ideas.
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 10 '19 at 2:20
  • You can also present at a conference, where you will get an opportunity to discuss your research with many people (as well as hear about and discuss theirs). Some conferences are meant for students and networking and have minimal peer review. The downside is the cost of travel and the conference itself. Aug 10 '19 at 3:03
  • 1
    What do you mean by validation?
    – deags
    Aug 10 '19 at 3:12
  • 2
    "I am not very familiar with the jargon and I can't quite communicate my ideas in a casual conversation" This is concerning, not because your paper doesn't use the jargon, but because it suggests that you haven't read enough of the existing literature to have gained a good understanding of the current state of the field you hope to extend.
    – Ray
    Aug 10 '19 at 7:33

First, I am not from the field of psychology, but I assume that the research rules are equally applied to all fields.

A general comment: any idea you think that it is new -in any research area-, it is more likely to collide with the fact that it has already been explored and patented -if you have a small experience in the field of course-.

Validating your idea does not necessitate a direct involvement in academia. However, it is important to know the academic process, that consists of:

  1. Reviewing the state-of-the-art sufficiently. This means, reading the recently published papers (mainly from reputed journals and proceedings) and books by using specific search engines (e.g. google scholar) and references/cited-by of the publications you know. Please be aware that key-words might be different across different communities.
  2. If you are not directly involved in research, you may contact researchers interested in your topic and idea. Btw. your assumption that they wouldn't even listen is wrong. Researchers and academics (regardless of their research area) are always open to new ideas. We (a CS research group) do this all the time, where we discuss with companies and individuals about new ideas and collaborations.
  3. If you don't prefer contacting research groups and labs or you don't get an answer for any reason (which I don't it would happen), you can write the paper by yourself following what you have learnt in reviewing similar works (you can also check tutorial how to write a good paper). You will need to follow the journal or conference instructions (e.g. number of pages, etc). You then submit the paper and wait a couple of months to get the first decision.

Now regarding your assumption:

Write a book. This is definitely a non-scientific approach ....

It is incorrect if you aim to publish a scientific book. Generally, good publishers won't easily publish the work of unknown authors unless they publish it in a series which requires the acceptation of its editor. Here also, the work has to be proved by the editor to has the chance to be published.


Try publishing on trade and industry magazines. Some do have a sort of review process.

Especially if your psychology ideas are interesting to marketing they might be picked up, and do write a book, it will be just for copyright, though.

Remember that academia is a vicious cycle full of insidious incentives to publish as many random papers as unnecessarily as possible, which is why a lot of practical research is being done outside of it now.

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