Any Effects of Social Orientation Priming on Object-Location Memory Are Smaller Than Initially Reported

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Abstract

It has previously been reported that priming a collectivistic social orientation (compared with an individualistic one) boosts object-location memory (Kühnen & Oyserman, 2002; Oyserman, Sorensen, Reber, & Chen, 2009). We conducted 4 experiments to replicate this reported effect, using the same methods as in those initial reports. In Experiment 1 (n = 145), we found a hint of a priming effect on object-location memory, but also an unanticipated interaction between priming and gender. In Experiment 2 (n = 90), we included gender as a formal factor and doubled the “dosage” of the priming, yet did not see any priming effects on memory. In Experiment 3 (n = 101), we octupled the priming “dosage” and again saw no significant effects on memory. Finally, in Experiment 4 (n = 102), we performed an exact replication of the methods of the original reports and again found no priming effects on memory. Any effects of this type of social orientation priming on object-location memory appear to be smaller and/or less robust than initially thought.

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