Replicating roaches: a preregistered direct replication of Zajonc, Heingartner, and Herman’s (1969) social-facilitation study

  • Fifty years ago, Zajonc, Heingartner, and Herman (1969) conducted a famous experiment on social enhancement and inhibition of performance in cockroaches. A moderating effect of task difficulty on the effect of the presence of an audience, as revealed by impaired performance in complex tasks and enhanced performance in simple tasks, was presented as the major conclusion of this research. However, the researchers did not test this interaction statistically. We conducted a preregistered direct replication using a 2 (audience: present vs. absent) × 2 (task difficulty: runway vs. maze) between-subjects design. Results revealed main effects for task difficulty, with faster running times in the runway than the maze, and for audience, with slower running times when the audience was present than when it was absent. There was no interaction between the presence of an audience and task difficulty. Although we replicated the social-inhibition effect, there was no evidence for a social-facilitation effect.

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Author:Emma Halfmann, Janne Bredehöft, Jan Alexander Häusser
Parent Title (German):Psychological science
Publisher:SAGE Publications
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2020/02/04
Date of first Publication:2020/02/04
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2020/09/16
Tag:Zajonc; cockroach; open data; open materials; preregistered; replication; social facilitation; social inhibition
Page Number:6
First Page:332
Last Page:337
Institutes:Biowissenschaften / Biowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht