Slepian, Masicampo, Toosi, and Ambady found that individuals recalling and writing about a big, meaningful secret judged a pictured hill as steeper than did those who recalled and wrote about a small, inconsequential secret. From an embodied cognition perspective, this result was interpreted as suggesting that important secrets weigh people down. Answering to mounting calls for the crucial need of independent direct replications of published findings to ensure the self-correcting nature of our science, we sought to corroborate Slepian et al.’s finding in two extremely high-powered, preregistered studies that were very faithful to all procedural and methodological details of the original study. In both samples, we were unsuccessful in replicating the target finding. Although Slepian et al. reported three other studies supporting the secret burdensomeness phenomenon, we advise that these three other findings need to be independently corroborated before the general phenomenon informs theory or health interventions
Keywords Cognitive Psychology  Concealment of secrets  embodied cognition  Independent direct replication  Secrecy
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DOI 10.3758/s13423-013-0549-2
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