Making Sense of the Noise: Replication Difficulties of Correll’s (2008) Modulation of 1/f Noise in a Racial Bias Task
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Forthcoming
17 Pages Posted: 12 May 2014 Last revised: 22 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 14, 2014
Correll (2008, Study 2) found that instructions to use or avoid race information decreased the emission of 1/f noise in a weapon identification task (WIT). These results suggested that 1/f noise in racial bias tasks reflected an effortful deliberative process, providing new insights regarding the mechanisms underlying implicit racial biases. Given the potential theoretical and applied importance of understanding the psychological processes underlying implicit racial biases – and in light of the growing demand for independent direct replications of findings to ensure the cumulative nature of our science – we attempted to replicate Correll’s finding in two high-powered studies. Despite considerable effort to closely duplicate all procedural and methodological details of the original study (i.e., same cover story, experimental manipulation, implicit measure task, original stimuli, task instructions, sampling frame, population, and statistical analyses), both replication attempts were unsuccessful in replicating the original finding challenging the theoretical account that 1/f noise in racial bias tasks reflects a deliberative process. However, the emission of 1/f noise did consistently emerge across samples in each of our conditions. Hence, future research is needed to clarify the psychological significance of 1/f noise in racial bias tasks.
Keywords: 1/f noise, implicit racial bias, weapon identification task, independent direct replication
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