Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Postscript to the Preceding: Weapons Priming Effect and Potential Allegiance Effect

As I noted in my prior post, almost all of the experiments explicitly testing for a weapons priming effect (short term exposure to weapons increasing relative accessibility of aggressive cognition) involve the primary General Aggression Model theorists (Anderson and more recently Bushman) and/or their graduate students or associates. We are a very small group of individuals. The methods we use are strikingly similar, both in terms of independent variables and dependent variables. Over the years, we used very similar protocols when running our experiments. We used the same theoretical basis for our work. I can find one researcher citing any of our work independent of our clique who successfully replicated our findings (Korb, 2016), and she never published her Master's Thesis, as far as I am aware. With very few exceptions (e.g., Deuser, 1994), our experiments consistently found statistical significance. I often wonder if there were more independent efforts to replicate our basic findings, and if they were unsuccessful I would be curious to know what they thought happened, especially if they used protocols similar to the ones that we used. Otherwise, what we have is something of a niche area of inquiry that likely started and ended with just our cohort. I don't find that especially comforting.

Footnote: I am quite aware that Qian Zhang, who had a weapons priming effect paper retracted (Zhang et al, 2016), does still look at the weapons priming effect, and although his lab's findings on the surface are consistent with our own, I simply discard that work as I do not trust his reported descriptive and inferential statistics. Let's just say that GRIM and SPRITE tests tend to uncover mathematically impossible descriptive statistics in too many of his lab's findings. I shall leave it at that.