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      Does Recalling Moral Behavior Change the Perception of Brightness? : A Replication and Meta-Analysis of Banerjee, Chatterjee, and Sinha (2012)


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          Banerjee, Chatterjee, and Sinha (2012) recently reported that recalling unethical behavior led participants to see the room as darker and to desire more light-emitting products (e.g., a flashlight) compared to recalling ethical behavior. We replicated the methods of these two original studies with four high-powered replication studies (two online and two in the laboratory). Our results did not differ significantly from zero, 9 out of 10 of the effects were significantly smaller than the originally reported effects, and the effects were not consistently moderated by individual difference measures of potential discrepancies between the original and the replication samples. A meta-analysis that includes both the original and replication effects of moral recall on perceptions of brightness find a small, marginally significant effect ( d = 0.14 CL 95 −0.002 to 0.28). A meta-analysis that includes both the original and replication effects of moral recall on preferences for light-emitting products finds a small effect that did not differ from zero ( d = 0.13 CL 95 −0.04 to 0.29).

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          Most cited references18

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          Social evaluation by preverbal infants.

          The capacity to evaluate other people is essential for navigating the social world. Humans must be able to assess the actions and intentions of the people around them, and make accurate decisions about who is friend and who is foe, who is an appropriate social partner and who is not. Indeed, all social animals benefit from the capacity to identify individual conspecifics that may help them, and to distinguish these individuals from others that may harm them. Human adults evaluate people rapidly and automatically on the basis of both behaviour and physical features, but the ontogenetic origins and development of this capacity are not well understood. Here we show that 6- and 10-month-old infants take into account an individual's actions towards others in evaluating that individual as appealing or aversive: infants prefer an individual who helps another to one who hinders another, prefer a helping individual to a neutral individual, and prefer a neutral individual to a hindering individual. These findings constitute evidence that preverbal infants assess individuals on the basis of their behaviour towards others. This capacity may serve as the foundation for moral thought and action, and its early developmental emergence supports the view that social evaluation is a biological adaptation.
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            Matrix product ansatz for Fermi fields in one dimension

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              Good lamps are the best police: darkness increases dishonesty and self-interested behavior.

              Darkness can conceal identity and encourage moral transgressions; it may also induce a psychological feeling of illusory anonymity that disinhibits dishonest and self-interested behavior regardless of actual anonymity. Three experiments provided empirical evidence supporting this prediction. In Experiment 1, participants in a room with slightly dimmed lighting cheated more and thus earned more undeserved money than those in a well-lit room. In Experiment 2, participants wearing sunglasses behaved more selfishly than those wearing clear glasses. Finally, in Experiment 3, an illusory sense of anonymity mediated the relationship between darkness and self-interested behaviors. Across all three experiments, darkness had no bearing on actual anonymity, yet it still increased morally questionable behaviors. We suggest that the experience of darkness, even when subtle, may induce a sense of anonymity that is not proportionate to actual anonymity in a given situation.

                Author and article information

                Social Psychology
                Hogrefe Publishing
                May 2014
                : 45
                : 3
                : 246-252
                [ 1 ] Tilburg University, The Netherlands
                Author notes
                Mark J. Brandt, Department of Social Psychology, Room P06, P.O. Box 90153, Tilburg University, 5000 Tilburg, The Netherlands, m.j.brandt@ 123456tilburguniversity.edu
                : February 28, 2013
                : December 17, 2013

                Assessment, Evaluation & Research methods,Psychology,General social science,General behavioral science
                morality,embodiment,grounded cognition,light


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