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Redefine Statistical Significance XIII: The Case of Ego Depletion

The previous blog post discussed the preprint “Ego depletion reduces attentional control: Evidence from two high-powered preregistered experiments”. Recall the preprint abstract:

 
 
 
 
 

“Two preregistered experiments with over 1000 participants in total found evidence of an ego depletion effect on attention control. Participants who exercised self-control on a writing task went on to make more errors on Stroop tasks (Experiment 1) and the Attention Network Test (Experiment 2) compared to participants who did not exercise self-control on the initial writing task. The depletion effect on response times was non-significant. A mini meta-analysis of the two experiments found a small (d = 0.20) but significant increase in error rates in the controlled writing condition, thereby providing clear evidence of poorer attention control under ego depletion. These results, which emerged from large preregistered experiments free from publication bias, represent the strongest evidence yet of the ego depletion effect.”

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Two Pitfalls of Preregistration: The Case of Ego Depletion

Several researchers have proposed that the capacity for mental control is a limited resource, one that can be temporarily depleted after having engaged in a taxing cognitive activity. This hypothetical phenomenon — called ego depletion — has been hotly debated, and its very existence has been called into question. We ourselves are in the midst of a multi-lab collaborative research effort to address the issue. This is why we were particularly intrigued, when, just a few days ago, the Twitterverse attended us to the preprint “Ego depletion reduces attentional control: Evidence from two high-powered preregistered experiments”. The abstract of the manuscript reads as follows:

“Two preregistered experiments with over 1000 participants in total found evidence of an ego depletion effect on attention control. Participants who exercised self-control on a writing task went on to make more errors on Stroop tasks (Experiment 1) and the Attention Network Test (Experiment 2) compared to participants who did not exercise self-control on the initial writing task. The depletion effect on response times was non-significant. A mini meta-analysis of the two experiments found a small (d = 0.20) but significant increase in error rates in the controlled writing condition, thereby providing clear evidence of poorer attention control under ego depletion. These results, which emerged from large preregistered experiments free from publication bias, represent the strongest evidence yet of the ego depletion effect.”

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Redefine Statistical Significance Part XII: A BITSS debate with Simine Vazire and Daniel Lakens

This Tuesday, one of us [EJ] participated in a debate about –you guessed it– the α = .005 recommendation from the paper ‘Redefine Statistical Significance’. The debate was organized as part of the Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), and the two other discussants were Simine Vazire and Daniel Lakens.

The debate was live-streamed and taped so that you can view a recording: the debate starts at about 32:30 and lasts until 1:40:30. The discussion starts at around 01:13:00.

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