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Research Article

Behavioral Priming: It's All in the Mind, but Whose Mind?

  • Stéphane Doyen mail,

    sdoyen@ulb.ac.be

    Affiliations: Consciousness, Cognition and Computation Group, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, Social Psychology Unit, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, Social and Developmental Psychology Department, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

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  • Olivier Klein,

    Affiliation: Social Psychology Unit, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

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  • Cora-Lise Pichon,

    Affiliation: Consciousness, Cognition and Computation Group, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

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  • Axel Cleeremans

    Affiliation: Consciousness, Cognition and Computation Group, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

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  • Published: January 18, 2012
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029081

Reader Comments (3)

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Reaction to this study

Posted by MattJHodgkinson on 22 Mar 2012 at 16:39 GMT

As noted in the comments about the media coverage of this article (http://www.plosone.org/an...) the publication of this article was criticised by Prof John Bargh, an author of the paper that Doyen et al. attempted to replicate: Bargh JA, Chen M, Burrows L (1996) Automaticity of social behavior: direct effects of trait construct and stereotype-activation on action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 71: 230–244

Prof Bargh's comments were posted on his The Natural Unconscious blog on Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoda.... In the post he criticised PLoS ONE in general, the peer review of the Doyen et al. article in particular, and blog coverage of the work. The Publisher of PLoS ONE, Pete Binfield, responded to correct some factual errors about PLoS ONE and our processes in a comment titled "Setting the record straight regarding PLoS ONE": http://www.psychologytoda.... The work was peer reviewed, and it was handled by the PLoS ONE academic editor and cognitive psychologist Jan Lauwereyns.

One criticism raised by Prof Bargh was that he was not given a chance to comment prior to publication: "If I'd been asked to review it (oddly for an article that purported to fail to replicate one of my past studies, I wasn't) I could have pointed out at that time the technical flaws". Researchers whose work is rebutted are often excluded from being peer reviewers by the authors, and the editors of PLoS ONE usually respect this: http://www.plosone.org/st.... However, since this work was submitted (and independent of this case) PLoS ONE has introduced a process in which authors of rebutted papers are given the chance to submit signed comments after the first round of peer review for the academic editor to consider, and authors are made aware of this when they submit.

Prof Bargh's blog post received a large number of comments: http://www.psychologytoda.... Many psychology researchers and others have commented on this dispute on blogs and on Twitter, raising issues of peer review, post-publication peer review, replication studies, conceptual vs exact replication, and publication bias in experimental psychology.

Ed Yong, a science blogger and journalist whose own blog post about the work was criticised by Bargh, covered Bargh's response and the reaction: http://blogs.discovermaga...

Relating to publication bias, an initiative begun by PLoS ONE academic editor Alex Holcombe, among others, is the PsychFileDrawer, "a tool designed to address the File Drawer Problem as it pertains to psychological research: the distortion in the scientific literature that results from the failure to publish non-replications." http://www.psychfiledrawe... This website has registered one other "Failure to Replicate" of Bargh's original study by Hal Pashler and colleagues : http://www.psychfiledrawe...

A round-up of responses by Cedar Riener focused on post-publication peer review, and concluded that "It is totally worth it to blog (and tweet) about your papers, not just to inform “the public” of your results, but to possibly engage with a scientific audience." http://cedarsdigest.wordp...

Other online comments include:
* http://neurobonkers.com/2...
* http://marginalrevolution...
* http://www.improbable.com...
* http://www.newappsblog.co...
* https://plus.google.com/u...
* http://blogs.wsj.com/idea...
* http://www.psychologytoda...
* http://languagelog.ldc.up...
* http://hardsci.wordpress....
* http://www.epjournal.net/...
* http://social-brain.blogs...

Competing interests declared: I am a PLoS ONE Associate Editor

RE: Reaction to this study

MattJHodgkinson replied to MattJHodgkinson on 26 Mar 2012 at 15:52 GMT

Prof Bargh has commented further on this replication study and the reaction to it on his blog: http://www.psychologytoda...

The comment thread is here: http://www.psychologytoda...

Competing interests declared: I am a PLoS ONE Associate Editor

RE: RE: Reaction to this study

jgau replied to MattJHodgkinson on 19 Dec 2012 at 11:11 GMT

The link to the comment thread on psychologytoday.com doesn't work anymore ("Page not found")

No competing interests declared.