Cleanliness primes do not influence moral judgment (#172)

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APA Style

David Johnson, Felix Cheung, Brent Donnellan. Cleanliness primes do not influence moral judgment. (2014, January 01). Retrieved 00:57, February 22, 2018 from

MLA Style

"Cleanliness primes do not influence moral judgment" David Johnson, Felix Cheung, Brent Donnellan. 01 Jan 2014 22:06 22 Feb 2018, 00:57 <>

MHRA Style

'Cleanliness primes do not influence moral judgment', David Johnson, Felix Cheung, Brent Donnellan, , 01 January 2014 22:06 <> [accessed 22 February 2018]

Chicago Style

"Cleanliness primes do not influence moral judgment", David Johnson, Felix Cheung, Brent Donnellan, , (accessed February 22, 2018)


Cleanliness primes do not influence moral judgment [Internet]. David Johnson, Felix Cheung, Brent Donnellan; 2014 Jan 01, 22:06 [cited 2018 Feb 22]. Available from:

Reference to Original Report of Finding Schnall, S., Benton, J. and Harvey, S. (2008). With a clean conscience: Cleanliness reduces the severity of moral judgments. Psychological Science, 19, 1219-1222.
Title Cleanliness primes do not influence moral judgment
If the original article contained multiple experiments, which one did you attempt to replicate? e.g., you might respond 'Study 1' or 'Experiment 4'. Experiment 1
Link to PDF of Original ReportView Article
Brief Statement of Original Result Participants exposed to cleanliness primes (relative to neutral primes) made less severe moral judgments.
Type of Replication Attempted Fairly Direct Replication
Result Type Failure to Replicate
Difference? Opposite Direction, .58
Number of Subjects 731
Number of Subjects in Original Study 40
Year in which Replication Attempt was Made 2013
Name of Investigators (Real Names Required) David Johnson, Felix Cheung, Brent Donnellan
Detailed Description of Method/Results Seven hundred and fifty-six undergraduates completed the following procedures online but 25 were removed for admitting to fabricating their answers, leaving a final sample of 731 (50.6% female). Participants completed the original scrambled sentence task that involved either neutral words (n = 363) or cleanliness related words (n = 368). Participants then responded to six moral vignettes using 9-point scales ranging from 0 (perfectly OK) to 9 (extremely wrong). A composite score was created by averaging responses to all vignettes (M = 6.00, SD = 1.45; α = .66).

Unlike the original experiment, the effect of cleanliness prime on the composite DV did not reach statistical significance, F(1, 729) = 0.31, p = .58, d = .04. Analyses of the individual vignettes also yielded null results, including the “kitten” dilemma, F(1, 729) = 0.16, p = .16, d = -.11, the only vignette that yielded a statistically significant difference at p < .05 in the original experiment. The “plane crash” vignette approached significance, F(1, 729) = 3.67, p = .06, d = .14, but not in the predicted direction. These results are inconsistent with the original study, and the 95% confidence interval around the d for the composite estimate (-.10 to .19) fell below the |.20| threshold for a small effect.

Several potential individual difference measures unrelated to the original experiment were also collected: Private Body Consciousness, Disgust Propensity and Sensitivity Subscale (Revised), and Honesty-Humility HEXACO subscale, and a single-item liberalism-conservatism scale. No individual difference measure moderated the null effect of condition or gender.

Data and experimenter codebook are available at
Any Known Methodological Differences
(between original and present study)?
The original study was run in person in a lab, recruited British participants, and did not include the moderators examined. However, the moderators were included at the end of the study, after the critical measures were taken.
Email of Investigator
Name of individuals who
actually carried out the project
Study was administered online. David Johnson, Felix Cheung, and Brent Donnellan analyzed the data.
Location of ProjectStudy was administered online
Characteristics of Subjects
(subject pool, paid, etc.)
University students from subject pool
Where did these subjects reside?United States
Was this a Class Project?No
Further Details of Results as pdf
Additional Comments
Email of Original Investigator
Quantitive Information
I have complied with ethical standards for experimentation on human beings and, if necessary, have obtained appropriate permission from an Institutional Review Board or other oversight group.
TAG: Attention TAG: JDM TAG: Language TAG: Learning TAG: Memory TAG: Perception TAG: Performance TAG: Problem Solving TAG: Social Cognition TAG: Social Psychology TAG: Thinking

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