Slepian, Masicampo, Toosi, and Ambady (2012, Experiment 1) reported that participants who recalled a big secret estimated a hill as steeper than participants who recalled a small secret. This finding was interpreted as evidence that secrets are experienced as physical burdens. In 2 experiments, we tried to replicate this finding, but, despite larger power, did not find a difference in slant estimates between participants who recalled a big secret and those who recalled a small secret. This finding was further corroborated by a meta-analysis that included 8 published data sets of exact replications, which indicates that thinking of a big secret does not affect hill slant estimation. In a third experiment, we also failed to replicate the effect of recalling a secret on throwing a beanbag at a target (Slepian et al., 2012, Experiment 2). Together, our findings question the robustness of the original empirical findings.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Conceptual metaphor, Embodied cognition, Perceptual judgment, Replication, Secrets
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000090, hdl.handle.net/1765/86326
Journal Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
Citation
Pecher, D, van Mierlo, H, Cañal-Bruland, R, & Zeelenberg, R. (2015). The burden of secrecy? No effect on hill slant estimation and beanbag throwing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(4), e65–e72. doi:10.1037/xge0000090