Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 771–776 | Cite as

Failure to replicate the Mehta and Zhu (2009) color-priming effect on anagram solution times

Brief Report

Abstract

Mehta and Zhu (Science, 323, 1226–1229, 2009) hypothesized that the color red induces avoidance motivation and that the color blue induces approach motivation. In one experiment, they reported that anagrams of avoidance motivation words were solved more quickly on red backgrounds and that approach motivation anagrams were solved more quickly on blue backgrounds. Reported here is a direct replication of that experiment, using the same anagrams, instructions, and colors, with more than triple the number of participants used in the original study. The results did not show the Mehta and Zhu color-priming effects, even though statistical power was sufficient to detect the effect. The results call into question the existence of their color-priming effect on the solution of anagrams.

Keywords

Color Priming Approach Avoidance Motivation Anagram 

References

  1. Chabris, C. F. (1999). Prelude or requiem for the Mozart effect? Nature, 400, 826–827.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Elliot, A. J., & Maier, M. A. (2012). Color-in-context theory. In P. Devine & A. Plant (Eds.), Advances in experimental social psychology, vol. 45 (pp. 61–125). San Diego: Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Lang, A.-G., & Buchner, A. (2007). G*Power 3: A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behavior Research Methods, 39, 175–191. doi:10.3758/BF03193146 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Francis, G. (2013). Publication bias in “Red, rank, and romance in women viewing men” by Elliot et al. (2010). Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142, 292–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Genschow, O., Reutner, L., & Wänke, M. (2012). The color red reduces snack food and soft drink intake. Appetite, 58, 699–702.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Greitemeyer, T. (2013). Article retracted, but the message lives on. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. Advance online publication. doi:10.3758/s13423-013-0500-6
  7. Hetland, L. (2000). Listening to music enhances spatial reasoning: Evidence for the “Mozart effect. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34, 105–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Johnson, D. M. (1966). Solution of anagrams. Psychological Bulletin, 66, 371–384.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Knight, D., & Muncer, S. J. (2011). Type and token bigram frequencies for two-through nine-letter words and the prediction of anagram difficulty. Behavior Research Methods, 43, 491–498.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mayzner, M. S., & Tresselt, M. E. (1963). Anagram solution times: A function of word length and letter position variables. Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 55, 469–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mehta, R., & Zhu, R. J. (2009). Blue or red? Exploring the effect of color on cognitive task performances. Science, 323, 1226–1229.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Muncer, S. J., & Knight, D. (2011). The syllable effect in anagram solution: Unrecognized evidence from past studies. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 40, 111–118.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Pashler, H., & Harris, C. R. (2012). Is the replicability crisis overblown? Three arguments examined. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 531–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Perlovsky, L., Cabanac, A., Bonniot-Cabanac, M., & Cabanac, M. (2013). Mozart effect, cognitive dissonance, and the pleasure of music. Behavioural Brain Research, 244, 9–14.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pietschnig, J., Voracek, M., & Forman, A. K. (2010). Mozart effect-shmozart effect: A meta-analysis. Intelligence, 38, 314–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rauscher, F. H. (1999). Prelude or requiem for the ‘Mozart effect’? Nature, 400, 827–828.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Rauscher, F. H., Shaw, G. L., & Ky, K. N. (1993). Music and spatial task performance. Nature, 365, 611.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rutchick, A. M., Slepian, M. L., & Ferris, B. (2010). The pen is mightier than the word: Object priming of grading standards. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 704–708. doi:10.1002/ejsp.753 Google Scholar
  19. Simonsohn, U. (2013a). Evaluating replication results (May 6, 2013). Retrieved from http://ssrn.com/abstract=2259879
  20. Simonsohn, U. (2013b). Just post it: The lesson from two cases of fabricated data detected by statistics alone. Retrieved from http://pss.sagepub.com on September 3, 2013.
  21. Smeesters, D., & Liu, J. E. (2011). The effect of color (red vs. blue) on assimilation vs. contrast in prime-to-behavior effects [Retracted article]. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 653–656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Smeesters, D., & Liu, J. E. (2013). Retraction notice to “The effect of color (red vs. blue) on assimilation vs. contrast in prime-to-behavior effects” [Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, (2011) 47, 653–656]. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Steele, K. M., Dalla Bella, S., Peretz, I., Dunlop, T., Dawe, L. A., Humphrey, G. K., . . . Olmsted, C. G. (1999). Prelude or requiem for the “Mozart effect”? Nature, 400, 827–828.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAppalachian State UniversityBooneUSA

Personalised recommendations