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Publication bias and low power in field studies on goal priming

Shanks, DR; Vadillo, MA; (2021) Publication bias and low power in field studies on goal priming. Royal Society Open Science , 8 (10) , Article 210544. 10.1098/rsos.210544. Green open access

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Abstract

Research on goal priming asks whether the subtle activation of an achievement goal can improve task performance. Studies in this domain employ a range of priming methods, such as surreptitiously displaying a photograph of an athlete winning a race, and a range of dependent variables including measures of creativity and workplace performance. Chen, Latham, Piccolo and Itzchakov (Chen et al. 2021 J. Appl. Psychol. 70, 216-253) recently undertook a meta-analysis of this research and reported positive overall effects in both laboratory and field studies, with field studies yielding a moderate-to-large effect that was significantly larger than that obtained in laboratory experiments. We highlight a number of issues with Chen et al.'s selection of field studies and then report a new meta-analysis (k = 13, N = 683) that corrects these. The new meta-analysis reveals suggestive evidence of publication bias and low power in goal priming field studies. We conclude that the available evidence falls short of demonstrating goal priming effects in the workplace, and offer proposals for how future research can provide stronger tests.

Type: Article
Title: Publication bias and low power in field studies on goal priming
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.210544
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.210544
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Achievement, goals, meta-analysis, priming, publication bias
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137163
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