Business Economics and Public Policy Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

6-2014

Publication Source

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

Volume

102

Start Page

10

Last Page

13

DOI

10.1016/j.jebo.2014.02.005

Abstract

Replication of empirical studies is much more than a tool to police the field. Failed replications force us to recognize that seemingly arbitrary design features may impact results in important ways. We describe a study that used a cognitive load manipulation to investigate the role of the deliberative system in charitable giving and a set of failed replications of that study. While the original study showed large and statistically significant results, we failed to replicate using the same protocol and the same subject pool. After the first failed replication, we hypothesized that the order our study was taken in a set of unrelated studies in a laboratory session generated the differences in effects. Three more replication attempts supported this hypothesis. The study demonstrates the importance of replication in advancing our understanding of the mechanisms driving a particular result and it questions the robustness of results established by cognitive load tests.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© 2014. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Keywords

methodology, cognitive load, charitable giving

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Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.