Publications

     

Meta-analyses are no substitute for registered replications: a skeptical perspective on religious priming

M. Van Elk and D. Matzke and Q. Gronau and M. Guan and J. Vandekerckhove and E. J. Wagenmakers According to a recent meta-analysis, religious priming has a positive effect on prosocial behavior (Shariff et al., 2015). We first argue that this meta-analysis suffers from a number of methodological shortcomings that limit the conclusions that can be drawn about the potential benefits of religious priming. Next we present a re-analysis of the religious priming data using two different meta-analytic techniques. A Precision-Effect Testing - Precision-Effect-Estimate with Standard Error (PET-PEESE) meta-analysis suggests that the effect of religious priming is driven solely by publication bias. In contrast, an analysis using Bayesian bias correction suggests the presence of a religious priming effect, even after controlling for publication bias. These contradictory statistical results demonstrate that meta-analytic techniques alone may not be sufficiently robust to firmly establish the presence or absence of an effect. We argue that a conclusive resolution of the debate about the effect of religious priming on prosocial behavior - and about theoretically disputed effects more generally - requires a large-scale, preregistered replication project, which we consider to be the sole remedy for the adverse effects of experimenter bias and publication bias. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01365

Citation

Van Elk, M., Matzke, D., Gronau, Q., Guan, M., Vandekerckhove, J., & Wagenmakers, E.-J. (2015). Meta-analyses are no substitute for registered replications: a skeptical perspective on religious priming. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1365.

BibTeX

@article{vanelk2015metaanalyses,
  title     = {Meta-analyses are no substitute for registered replications: a skeptical perspective on religious priming},
  author    = {Van Elk, M. and Matzke, D. and Gronau, Q. and Guan, M. and Vandekerckhove, J. and Wagenmakers, E.-J.},
  journal   = {Frontiers in Psychology},
  year      = {2015},
  volume    = {6},
  pages     = {1365},
  doi       = {10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01365},
}