On his blog, The Natural Unconscious, Situationist Contributor John Bargh has posted a long response to an article written by a group of social psychologists who were unable to replicate one of Bargh’s classic studies. Here’s the opening paragraph of Bargh’s post:
Scientific integrity in the era of pay-as-you-go publications and superficial online science journalism. What prompts the return of the blog is a recent article titled “Behavioral Priming: It’s All in the Mind, but Whose Mind?” by Stéphane Doyen, Olivier Klein, Cora-Lise Pichon, and Axel Cleeremans. The researchers reported that they could not replicate our lab’s 1996 finding that priming (subtly activating in the minds of our college-age experimental participants, without their awareness) the stereotype of the elderly caused participants to walk more slowly when leaving the experiment. We had predicted this effect based on emerging theory and evidence that perceptual mental representations were intimately linked with behavioral representations, a finding that is very well established now in the field (see below). Following their failure to replicate, Doyen et al. went on to show that if the experimenter knew the hypothesis of the study, they were able to then find the effect. Their conclusion was that experimenter expectancies or awareness of the research hypotheses had therefore produced the effect in our original 1996 study as well—in other words, that there was no actual unconscious stereotype effect on the participants’ behavior.
Read more here.
Related Situationist posts:
- John Bargh on Situational Behavioral Influences
- The Situation of Skin
- Money Priming
- Shared Human Experiences
- Hanson’s Chair Lecture on Situationism
- Body Image and Materialism
- Law, Competition, Self-Interest
- The Situation of Being Green
- Survival of the Cutest,
- The Situational Effects of Hand-Washing,
- Unclean Hands,
- Bargh and Baumeister and the Free Will Debate — Part I & Part II,
- Social Psychology and the Unconscious: The Automaticity of Higher Processes,
- Situation of Consumption,
- The Color of Sex Appeal,
- The Primitive Appeal of The Color Red, and
- The (Unconscious) Situation of our Consciousness – Part I, Part II, Part III, & Part IV.
Image from Flickr.