#20752 | AsPredicted

'The Effects of Ostracism on Moral Judgment'
(AsPredicted #20752)

Created:       03/12/2019 08:24 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?
Does ostracism influence moral judgment? Social exclusion can be seen as a threat, and as such might make people more cautious about others’ immoral actions. We predict that, compared to participants who feel socially included, participants who feel socially excluded will subsequently judge moral transgressions more harshly.

3) Describe the key dependent variable(s) specifying how they will be measured.
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) and include the five moral foundations proposed by Graham, Haidt, & Nosek (2009). In a pilot study we used the ‘harm’ and ‘fairness’ foundations, and observed a small effect only for harm. In the current study we use 12 questions for each of the five foundations, to test whether the effect occurs primarily for harm, or also for the other moral foundations. The study will be conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

4) How many and which conditions will participants be assigned to?
Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. Participants in in the Inclusion Condition will play the interactive game Cyberball (Williams & Jarvis, 2006) in which two other “players” include the participants equally throughout in the game. Participants in the Ostracism Condition will play the same game but the two other “players” will mostly pass the ball between them, while not including the participant as often.

5) Specify exactly which analyses you will conduct to examine the main question/hypothesis.
We will run a repeated-measures mixed ANOVA on moral ratings with condition as between-subjects factor, and vignette content as within-subjects fact. We also will run one-tailed independent samples t-test for each moral foundation. We predict that the ostracized group will be harsher in their moral judgments than the included group.

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 factual manipulation checks included near the end of the study. We will also exclude participants who complete the study too quickly or consistently provide outlier ratings (too low or too high) for the moral items.

In a pilot study we unexpectedly found that although the stimuli had been pretested by Clifford et al. (2015), some items showed unusually skewed distributions, with many participants selecting the most severe answer category. This suggests that for these items there was very little variability between the two conditions, thus making it difficult to obtain an effect of the manipulation (i.e. a ceiling effect). We therefore selected a different set of items for the current study. We will examine distributions and if they again 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.

In a pilot study we observed an effect size of Cohen’s d= .24 for harm judgments. Using G*Power we calculated a required sample of 432. To allow for some exclusions we set the targeted sample size at 440 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 Ten Item Personality Inventory (Gosling, Rentfrow, & Swan, 2003). We will run moderation and mediation analyses investigating the effects of Big Five personality traits on moral judgment following the ostracism manipulation.