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Three Attempts to Replicate the Moral Licensing Effect

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      The present work includes three attempts to replicate the moral licensing effect by Sachdeva, Iliev, and Medin (2009). The original authors found that writing about positive traits led to lower donations to charity and decreased cooperative behavior. The first two replication attempts (student samples, 95% power based on the initial findings, N Study1 = 105, N Study2 = 150), did not confirm the original results. The third replication attempt (MTurk sample, 95% power based on a meta-analysis on self-licensing, N = 940) also did not confirm the moral licensing effect. We conclude that (1) there is as of yet no strong support for the moral self-regulation framework proposed in Sachdeva et al. (2009) (2) the manipulation used is unlikely to induce moral licensing, and (3) studies on moral licensing should use a neutral control condition.

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            Author and article information

            [ 1 ] Tilburg University, The Netherlands
            [ 2 ] University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
            Author notes
            Irene Blanken, Department of Social Psychology, Tilburg University, PO Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands, i.blanken@
            Social Psychology
            Hogrefe Publishing
            May 2014
            : 45
            : 3
            : 232-238
            zsp_45_3_232 10.1027/1864-9335/a000189
            Self URI (journal-page):
            Original Article


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