#23332 | AsPredicted

'The Relationship Between Social Anxiety, Loneliness, and Moral Judgment.'
(AsPredicted #23332)

Created:       05/12/2019 06:35 AM (PT)

This is an anonymized version of the pre-registration.  It was created by the author(s) to use during peer-review.
A non-anonymized version (containing author names) should be made available by the authors when the work it supports is made public.

1) Have any data been collected for this study already?
No, no data have been collected for this study yet.

2) What's the main question being asked or hypothesis being tested in this study?
Is there a relationship between social anxiety, loneliness, and moral judgment? In two previous preregistered studies we discovered an indirect effect of experimentally induced social exclusion on moral judgment: Participants who were ostracized in an interactive game experienced greater need-threat (reduction in sense of belonging, self-esteem, sense of control, and meaningfulness), which in turn increased the severity of their moral judgments compared to participants who were not excluded. Although there was an overall indirect effect across all foundations, it was most pronounced for Harm violations, with smaller effects for Fairness, Sanctity, Loyalty and Authority violations. We intend to examine whether a similar effect exists for social anxiety and loneliness as individual difference variables relating to social exclusions, such that participants who are more prone to those experiences will report greater disapproval for moral infractions.

3) Describe the key dependent variable(s) specifying how they will be measured.
We will repeat the same stimuli as in two previous preregistered studies. Participants will respond to questions about characters in different scenarios and rate the behaviour of the characters (1 = not at all wrong; 5 = extremely wrong). The vignettes developed by Clifford, Iyengar, Cabeza, Sinnott-Armstrong (2015) include the five moral foundations proposed by Graham, Haidt, & Nosek (2009). The study will also be conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

4) How many and which conditions will participants be assigned to?
The study will utilize a correlational design measuring the relationship between participants responses to the questionnaires and their responses to the moral vignettes. One questionnaire is the UCLA Loneliness Scale, Version 3. It is a frequently used loneliness assessment tool and has been found to be effective for a variety of populations (Durak & Senol-Durak, 2010; Russell, 1996; Vassar & Crosby, 2007). Participants will also complete the Social Anxiety Questionnaire, also employed in prior research (Caballo, Salazar, Arias, Irurtia, & Calderero, 2010; Douglas, 2016; Redondo et al., 2014). Participants will first respond to the moral vignettes, and then respond to two questionnaires. The two questionnaires will be counterbalanced.

5) Specify exactly which analyses you will conduct to examine the main question/hypothesis.
We will run regression analyses to determine whether responses to the Social Anxiety Questionnaire and Loneliness Scale predict responses to moral violations.

6) Describe exactly how outliers will be defined and handled, and your precise rule(s) for excluding observations.
We will exclude participants who fail both of the two control items included on the Social Anxiety Questionnaire because they suggest that the questionnaire could have been answered at random (Caballo et al., 2015). We will also exclude participants who completed the study too quickly or consistently provide outlier ratings (too low or too high) for the moral items. In earlier studies we could highly skewed responses on some items, particularly within the Sanctity foundation. We will therefore examine item distributions and if they suggest evidence of a ceiling effect we will consider excluding those items.

7) How many observations will be collected or what will determine sample size?
No need to justify decision, but be precise about exactly how the number will be determined.

Using G*Power, we calculated a required sample of 84 to obtain a medium effect size of .3. To allow for some exclusions we set the targeted sample size at 100 participants, at which point data collection will be stopped.

8) Anything else you would like to pre-register?
(e.g., secondary analyses, variables collected for exploratory purposes, unusual analyses planned?)

Participants will also complete the MacArthur Scale of Subjective Social Status (Adler & Stewart, 2007). In a previous preregistered study, we found a small but significant positive relationship between subjective social status and moral disapproval ratings, particularly for the Authority and Loyalty foundations. We intend to examine whether this effect with replicate in the current study. We will also examine whether subjective social status moderates the relationship between loneliness, social anxiety, and moral judgment.