Replication of Experiments Evaluating Impact of Psychological Distance on Moral Judgment: (Eyal, Liberman & Trope, 2008;Gong & Medin, 2012)

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Eyal, Liberman, and Trope (2008) established that people judged moral transgressions more harshly and virtuous acts more positively when the acts were psychologically distant than close. In a series of conceptual and direct replications, Gong and Medin (2012) came to the opposite conclusion. Attempting to resolve these inconsistencies, we conducted four high-powered replication studies in which we varied temporal distance (Studies 1 and 3), social distance (Study 2) or construal level (Study 4), and registered their impact on moral judgment. We found no systematic effect of temporal distance, the effect of social distance consistent with Eyal et al., and the reversed effect of direct construal level manipulation, consistent with Gong and Medin. Possible explanations for the incompatible results are discussed.

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