Registered Replication Report on Mazar, Amir, and Ariely (2008)

Bruno Verschuere, Ewout H. Meijer, Ariane Jim, Katherine Hoogesteyn, Robin Orthey, Randy J. McCarthy, John J. Skowronski, Oguz A. Acar, Balazs Aczel, Bence E. Bakos, Fernando Barbosa, Ernest Baskin, Laurent Bègue, Gershon Ben-Shakhar, Angie R. Birt, Lisa Blatz, Steve D. Charman, Aline Claesen, Samuel L. Clay, Sean P. CoaryJan Crusius, Jacqueline R. Evans, Noa Feldman, Fernando Ferreira-Santos, Matthias Gamer, Sara Gomes, Marta González-Iraizoz, Felix Holzmeister, Juergen Huber, Andrea Isoni, Ryan K. Jessup, Michael Kirchler, Nathalie klein Selle, Lina Koppel, Marton Kovacs, Tei Laine, Frank Lentz, David D. Loschelder, Elliot A. Ludvig, Monty L. Lynn, Scott D. Martin, Neil M. McLatchie, Mario Mechtel, Galit Nahari, Asil Ali Özdoğru, Rita Pasion, Charlotte R. Pennington, Arne Roets, Nir Rozmann, Irene Scopelliti, Eli Spiegelman, Kristina Suchotzki, Angela Sutan, Peter Szecsi, Gustav Tinghög, Jean Christian Tisserand, Ulrich S. Tran, Alain Van Hiel, Wolf Vanpaemel, Daniel Västfjäll, Thomas Verliefde, Kévin Vezirian, Martin Voracek, Lara Warmelink, Katherine Wick, Bradford J. Wiggins, Keith Wylie, Ezgi Yıldız

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The self-concept maintenance theory holds that many people will cheat in order to maximize self-profit, but only to the extent that they can do so while maintaining a positive self-concept. Mazar, Amir, and Ariely (2008, Experiment 1) gave participants an opportunity and incentive to cheat on a problem-solving task. Prior to that task, participants either recalled the Ten Commandments (a moral reminder) or recalled 10 books they had read in high school (a neutral task). Results were consistent with the self-concept maintenance theory. When given the opportunity to cheat, participants given the moral-reminder priming task reported solving 1.45 fewer matrices than did those given a neutral prime (Cohen’s d = 0.48); moral reminders reduced cheating. Mazar et al.’s article is among the most cited in deception research, but their Experiment 1 has not been replicated directly. This Registered Replication Report describes the aggregated result of 25 direct replications (total N = 5,786), all of which followed the same preregistered protocol. In the primary meta-analysis (19 replications, total n = 4,674), participants who were given an opportunity to cheat reported solving 0.11 more matrices if they were given a moral reminder than if they were given a neutral reminder (95% confidence interval = [−0.09, 0.31]). This small effect was numerically in the opposite direction of the effect observed in the original study (Cohen’s d = −0.04).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-317
Number of pages19
JournalAdvances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Many Labs
  • cheating
  • honesty
  • morality
  • open data
  • open materials
  • preregistered
  • replication

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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