P-Curve analysis of autonomous and controlling motivation priming effects supports their evidential value

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Abstract

Extant literature consistently demonstrates the level of self-determination individuals experience or demonstrate during an activity can be primed. However, considering most of this literature comes from a period wherein p-hacking was prevalent (pre-2015), it may be that these effects reflect false positives. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether published literature showing autonomous and controlling motivation priming effects contain evidential value or not. A systematic literature search was conducted to identify relevant priming research, while set rules determined which effects from each study would be used in p-curve analysis. Two p-curves including 33 effects each were constructed. P-curve analyses, even after excluding surprising effects (e.g., effects large in magnitude), demonstrated that literature showing autonomous and controlling motivation priming effects contained evidential value. The present findings support prior literature suggesting the effects of autonomous and controlling motivation primes exist at the population level. They also reduce (but do not eliminate) concerns from broader psychology that p-hacking may underlie reported effects.

Publication
Motivation and Emotion, 46
Stephen Murphy
Stephen Murphy
Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Psychology

My research interests include self-regulation, motivation, meta-science, and data science.