Registered replication report: Hart & Albarracín (2011).

Edit this page


Language can be viewed as a complex set of cues that shape people’s mental representations of situations. For example, people think of behavior described using imperfective aspect (i.e., what a person was doing) as a dynamic, unfolding sequence of actions, whereas the same behavior described using perfective aspect (i.e., what a person did) is perceived as a completed whole. A recent study found that aspect can also influence how we think about a person’s intentions (Hart & Albarracín, 2011). Participants judged actions described in imperfective as being more intentional (d between 0.67 and 0.77) and they imagined these actions in more detail (d = 0.73). The fact that this finding has implications for legal decision making, coupled with the absence of other direct replication attempts, motivated this registered replication report (RRR). Multiple laboratories carried out 12 direct replication studies, including one MTurk study. A meta-analysis of these studies provides a precise estimate of the size of this effect free from publication bias. This RRR did not find that grammatical aspect affects intentionality (d between 0 and −0.24) or imagery (d = −0.08). We discuss possible explanations for the discrepancy between these results and those of the original study.

Link to resource:

Type of resources: Primary Source, Reading, Paper

Education level(s): College / Upper Division (Undergraduates)

Primary user(s): Student

Subject area(s): Applied Science, Social Science

Language(s): English