Call for meta-analysis data: moral licensing & watching eyes effect

Our team is conducting two meta-analyses:

1. Moral Licensing
Specifically, we are interested in looking at the moderating effects of study procedures (such as whether the participants were observed during the licensing manipulation), and characteristics of the measures (such as the ambiguity of the dependent measure) on the moral licensing effect.

2. Watching Eyes Effects
Specifically, we are examining whether exposure length to observation cues (long or short) explain the inconsistencies in the literature regarding the impact of eye images on generosity.

Now we are looking for any unpublished experimental studies (e.g., manuscripts, doctoral dissertations, file drawer) or data on these topics.

Specifically, we are looking for studies with the following characteristics:

1. For the Moral Licensing Meta-Analysis characteristics:

  • Experimental studies where the behaviors studied (i.e. dependent variable) take place in a domain related to morality. This includes monetary donations, environmental giving, equality in hiring, cooperation, and volunteering, but not willingness to exercise or consume sweets.
  • The licensing manipulation includes participants indicating (a) intended ‘good’ or moral behaviour, (b) performing a ‘good’ or moral action, or (c) report the recall of a past ‘good’ or moral behaviour.
  • Has procedural information about how the licensing manipulation was delivered.
  • Has effect sizes calculated or statistics to compute effect sizes.

2. For the “Watching Eyes Effects” Meta-Analysis

  • Experimental studies that test material generosity of participants to anonymous strangers.
  • Uses a photo or stylized image of eyes as a cue of visual observation, and takes place in an otherwise anonymous condition.
  • Data from a control group without an image of eyes is included.
  • Has the mean donation of the control and treatment conditions as well as standard deviation calculated, or statistics to compute mean and standard deviation OR has the percentage or number of participants who donated something as opposed to nothing in the control and treatment conditions.

If you have any unpublished work on this topic, we would like include it in our analyses. Please either send your study information or data at your earliest convenience, or feel free to contact us with any questions you may have to the following address:

Additionally, we are interested if you know of any additional unpublished or ongoing studies (by yourselves or other authors) that might be relevant. We would also appreciate it if you would forward our request to any researchers in your network that may be doing relevant work in these areas.

Please let us know as soon as possible so we can include your work in our meta-analysis. We plan on beginning analyses in early January, so we’d ideally receive responses by December 15th, 2017. However, we will continue to include studies and data received after that date.

Thank-you for your help in doing good science!

Pat Barclay, Amanda Rotella, Jisoo Jung, and Tiffany Scurr
University of Guelph
50 Stone Rd E, Guelph, ON, Canada
N1G 2W1