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IdTitleAuthorsAbstractPictureThematic fieldsRecommenderReviewersSubmission date
17 Jan 2023
STAGE 1

How long does it take to form a habit?: A Multi-Centre Replication

How much practice is needed before daily actions are performed in a way that feels habitual?

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Benjamin Gardner, Wendy Wood and Adam Takacs
Even small changes in daily life can have a significant impact on one’s health, for example going to the gym at regular times and eating a healthy breakfast. But how long must we do something before it becomes a habit? Lally et al. (2010) tracked the subjective automaticity of a novel, daily (eating or exercise-related) routine. Based on 39 participants, they found a median time of 66 days. This estimate has never been replicated with their exact procedure, so the question remains of how well this holds up. Yet the estimate is useful for knowing how long we have to effortfully make ourselves perform an action until we will do it automatically.
 
In the current study, de Wit et al. (2023) propose a four-centre near-exact replication of Lally et al. (2010), for which they aim to test 800 subjects to provide a precise estimate of the time it takes to form a habit.
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over four rounds of review. Based on detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/bj9r2
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 4. At least some of the data/evidence that will be used to answer the research question already exists AND is accessible in principle to the authors (e.g. residing in a public database or with a colleague), BUT the authors certify that they have not yet accessed any part of that data/evidence.
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
References
 
1. Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C. H. M., Potts, H. W. W., & Wardle, J. (2010). How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 998–1009. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.674
 
2. de Wit, S., Bieleke, M., Fletcher, P. C., Horstmann, A., Schüler, J., Brinkhof, L. P., Gunschera, L. J., AND Murre, J. M. J. (2023). How long does it take to form a habit?: A Multi-Centre Replication, in principle acceptance of Version 4 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/bj9r2
How long does it take to form a habit?: A Multi-Centre Replicationde Wit, S., Bieleke, M., Fletcher, P.C., Horstmann, A., Schüler, J., Brinkhof, L.P., Gunschera, L.J., Murre, J.M.J.<p>How long does it take to form a habit? This question will be addressed by an innovative study by Lally et al. (2010), in which they tracked the subjective automaticity of a novel, daily (eating or exercise-related) routine, using the Self-Repor...Social sciencesZoltan Dienes2022-05-26 09:54:26 View
17 Jan 2023
STAGE 1
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Similarities and differences in a global sample of song and speech recordings

Exploring cross-cultural variation in speech and song

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Bob Slevc, Nai Ding and 1 anonymous reviewer
For centuries, the ubiquity of language and music across human societies has prompted scholars to speculate about their cross-cultural origins as well as their shared and unique characteristics. Depending on the extent to which contemporary theories emphasise the role of biology vs. culture, a range of hypotheses have been proposed concerning expected similarities and differences in song and speech. One class of hypotheses stemming from cultural relativism assumes a lack of universal regularities in song and speech, and therefore predicts no systematic cross-cultural relationships. On the other hand, more recent evolutionary hypotheses such as the social bonding hypothesis, motor constraint hypothesis, and sexual selection hypothesis all predict differences or similarities in specific characteristic of vocalisations, such as pitch regularity, pitch interval size, and melodic contour. Existing results are mixed in their support of these predictions.
 
In the current study, Ozaki et al. (2022) embark on an ambitious project to elucidate cross-cultural similarities and differences between speech and song in 81 different linguistic varieties spanning 23 language families. Understanding precisely how song and speech are related is methodologically challenging due to the multitude of confounds that can arise in comparing natural recordings. Here the authors overcome these difficulties with four types of carefully controlled recordings: singing, recitation of sung lyrics, spoken description of the song, and instrumental version of the sung melody. The authors will then examine six features that are amenable to reliable comparison, including pitch height, temporal rate, pitch stability, timbral brightness, pitch interval size, and pitch declination. With this data in hand, the authors will ask which acoustic features differ reliably between song and speech across cultures, with the expectation that song will exhibit higher pitch, slower rate and more stable pitch than speech. At the same time, the authors expect song and speech to be reliably similar in the characteristics of timbral brightness, pitch intervals and pitch contours. In addition to these confirmatory tests, the authors will explore variation across a range of additional stimulus characteristics and ancillary research questions.
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over two rounds of in-depth review. Based on detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/jdhtz
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 2. At least some data/evidence that will be used to answer the research question has been accessed and partially observed by the authors, but the authors certify that they have not yet observed the key variables within the data that will be used to answer the research question AND they have taken additional steps to maximise bias control and rigour.

List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
 
References
 
1. Ozaki, Y., Savage P. E. et al. (2022). Similarities and differences in a global sample of song and speech recordings, in principle acceptance of Version 2 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/jdhtz
Similarities and differences in a global sample of song and speech recordingsCorresponding authors: Yuto Ozaki and Patrick E. Savage (Keio University, Japan). Full list of 80 authors is in the manuscript<p>What, if any, similarities and differences between song and speech are consistent across cultures? Both song and speech are found in all known human societies and are argued to share evolutionary roots and cognitive resources, yet no studies ha...Social sciencesChris Chambers Bob Slevc, Nai Ding2022-09-16 16:03:10 View
02 Dec 2022
STAGE 1

Revisiting the link between anthropomorphism and loneliness with an extension to free will belief: Replication and extensions of Epley et al. (2008)

Are loneliness and free will beliefs associated with anthropomorphism?

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by John Protzko and Marieke Wieringa
Anthropomorphism is a widespread phenomenon in which people instil non-human entities or objects with human-like characteristics, such as motivations, intentions, and goals. Although common, the tendency to anthropomorphise varies between people, and a growing body of psychological research has examined the importance of various individual differences. One major theoretical account of anthropomorphism (Epley et al. 2007) suggests that sociality motivation – the drive to establish social relationships – is a key moderator of the phenomenon. In support of this account, some evidence suggests that people who experience greater loneliness (a proposed marker of sociality motivation) are more likely to anthropomorphise. In an influential series of studies, Epley et al. (2008) found that anthropomorphism and loneliness were positively correlated and that inducing participants experimentally to feel more lonely led to greater anthropomorphism. Later studies, however, produced more mixed results, particularly concerning the effectiveness of the experimental interventions.
 
In the current study, Elsherif et al. (2022) propose a partial replication of Epley et al. (2008), focusing on the correlational relationship between anthropomorphism and loneliness, with extensions to examine free will beliefs, anthropomorphism for supernatural beings (in addition to objects/gadgets), and the extent to which participants judged objects/gadgets to be controllable.
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over two rounds of in-depth review. Based on detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/by89c
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA. 
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
References
 
1. Epley, N., Waytz, A., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2007). On seeing human: A three-factor theory of anthropomorphism. Psychological Review, 114, 864–886. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.114.4.864 
 
2. Epley, N., Akalis, S., Waytz, A., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2008). Creating social connection through inferential reproduction: Loneliness and perceived agency in gadgets, Gods, and greyhounds. Psychological Science, 19, 114–120. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02056.x 
 
3. Elsherif, M., Pomareda, C., Xiao, Q., Chu, H. Y., Tang, M. C., Wong, T. H., Wu, Y. &  Feldman, G. (2022). Revisiting the positive association between loneliness and anthropomorphism with an extension to belief in free will: Replication and extensions of Epley et al. (2008), in principle acceptance of Version 3 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/by89c
Revisiting the link between anthropomorphism and loneliness with an extension to free will belief: Replication and extensions of Epley et al. (2008)Mahmoud Elsherif, Christina Pomareda, Qinyu Xiao, Hoi Yan Chu, Ming Chun Tang, Ting Hin (Angus) Wong, Yiming Wu, Gilad Feldman<p>This is a scheduled PCI-RR snap shot for a planned project: "Revisiting the link between anthropomorphism and loneliness with an extension to free will belief: Replication and extensions of Epley et al. (2008)​"</p>Social sciencesChris Chambers2022-02-16 07:03:50 View
01 Dec 2022
STAGE 1

Cerebral lateralization of writing in students at risk for dyslexia using functional Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography

Lateralisation for written language in primary school students at risk for dyslexia

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Margriet Groen and Todd Richards
While cerebral lateralisation for oral language is well-characterised, cerebral lateralisation for written language is much less well-understood. In this study, Papadopoulou et al. (2022) will use functional transcranial Doppler ultrasonography to assess lateralisation for written language in 7- to 9-year-old children at risk for dyslexia and neurotypical children. They will use tasks that assess efficiency in reading and writing names as well as speed and fluency in writing. The findings of this manuscript will highlight whether children with dyslexia showed atypical lateralisation for language in a written task. In addition, the authors plan to explore the correlation between lateralisation and writing competence. 
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over two rounds of in-depth review. Based on the edits made to the manuscript, and detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/u54tk (under temporary private embargo)
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA. 
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
 
References
 
1. Papadopoulou, A.-K., Vlachos, F., Pervanidou, P., Anesiadou, S., Antoniou, F., Phylactou, P., Badcock, N.A. & Papadatou-Pastou, M. (2022). Cerebral lateralization of writing in students at risk for dyslexia using functional Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography, in principle acceptance of Version 2 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/u54tk (under temporary private embargo)
Cerebral lateralization of writing in students at risk for dyslexia using functional Transcranial Doppler ultrasonographyAnastasia-Konstantina Papadopoulou, Filippos Vlachos, Panagiota Pervanidou, Sofia Anesiadou, Faye Antoniou, Phivos Phylactou, Nicholas A. Badcock, Marietta Papadatou-Pastou<p>It is well established that the left hemisphere is dominant in oral language in the majority of neurotypical individuals, while a more symmetrical pattern of activation in shown in cases of language disorders, such as dyslexia. Cerebral lateral...Humanities, Life Sciences, Social sciencesSaloni Krishnan Margriet Groen, Todd Richards2022-06-06 09:00:26 View
22 Nov 2022
STAGE 1

Estimating the Effect of Reward on Sleep-Dependent Memory Consolidation – A Registered Report

How does reward influence the effect of sleep on memory?

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by 2 anonymous reviewers
Sleep and reward each have an important role in human memory. According to the active system consolidation hypothesis, memory consolidation during sleep originates from the repeated reactivation of memory representations that were encoded during wake (Rasch & Born, 2013). Research has also consistently shown that memory performance is enhanced for items or stimuli associated with higher vs. lower rewards. While these lines of evidence are relatively clear, the role of sleep in shaping the interaction between reward and memory is more opaque, likely due to a combination of methodological variation between studies but also due to the field’s reliance on small-N designs and biased reporting practices. Clarifying this three-way relationship, and setting field benchmarks for effect sizes, is crucial not only for building richer neurocognitive models of memory, but for clinical applications such as targeted sleep interventions to treat addiction and other forms of mental illness. 
 
Using a large, stratified online German sample (N=1750), Morgan et al. (2022) will study the three-way relationship between sleep, reward and memory by asking whether, and if so how, reward influences the magnitude of sleep-dependent memory consolidation. Using an AM:PM-PM:AM design in combination with a motivated learning task, the authors will address three main questions: first, whether sleep yields greater memory performance compared to an equivalent period of wake; second whether information associated with higher reward leads to greater memory performance compared to lower reward; and third, the crucial interaction of whether sleep causes greater recognition memory performance for higher vs. lower reward items. The design also includes a series of rigorous positive controls to confirm testability of the hypotheses, while measuring a host of additional moderating variables for exploratory analyses (including age, education status, mental health, and more).
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over two rounds of in-depth review. Based on detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/q5pk8
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA. 
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
References
 
1. Rasch, B. & Born, J. (2013). About Sleep's Role in Memory. Physiological Revews, 93, 681–766. https://doi.org/10.1152%2Fphysrev.00032.2012
 
2. Morgan, D. P., Nagel, J., Cagatay Gürsoy, N., Kern, S. & Feld, G. B. (2022). Estimating the effect of reward on sleep-dependent memory consolidation – A Registered Report, in principle acceptance of Version 3 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/q5pk8
Estimating the Effect of Reward on Sleep-Dependent Memory Consolidation – A Registered ReportDavid P. Morgan, Juliane Nagel, N. Cagatay Gürsoy, Simon Kern & Gordon B. Feld<p>Rewards play an important role in guiding which memories are formed. Dopamine has been shown to be an important neuromodulator mediating the effect of rewards on memory. In rodents dopaminergic activity during learning has been shown to enhance...Life Sciences, Social sciencesChris Chambers2022-05-16 10:12:18 View
21 Nov 2022
STAGE 1

Revisiting the motivated denial of mind to animals used for food: Replication and extension of Bastian et al. (2012)

Does denial of animal minds explain the "meat paradox"?

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Brock Bastian, Ben De Groeve, Florian Lange and Sebastian Berger
The psychology of meat-eating offers a fascinating window into moral reasoning, cognition and emotion, as well as applications in the shift toward more sustainable and ethical alternatives to meat consumption. One key observation in this field is the so-called “meat paradox” – the tendency for people to simultaneously eat meat while also caring about animals. One way to resolve this conflict and reduce cognitive dissonance is for people to separate the concept of meat from animals, mentally disengaging from the origins of meat in order to make the act of consumption more ethically acceptable. Another potential explanation is a motivated “denial of mind”, in which people believe that animals lack the mental capacity to experience suffering; therefore, eating an animal is not a harm that the animal will experience. In support of the latter hypothesis, Bastian et al (2012) found that animals judged to have greater mental capacities were also judged to less edible, and that simply reminding meat eaters that an animal was being raised for the purposes of meat consumption led to denial of its mental capacities.
 
Using a large-scale online design in 1000 participants, Jacobs et al. (2022) propose a replication of two studies from Bastian et al. (2012): asking how the perceived mental capabilities of animals relates to both their perceived edibility and the degree of moral concern they elicit, and whether learning that an animal will be consumed influences perceptions of its mental capabilities. Among various exploratory analyses, the authors will also examine whether the perception of animal minds (in animals consumed for meat) varies systematically according to species.
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over two rounds of in-depth review. Based on detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/cru4z
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA. 
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
References
 
1. Bastian, B., Loughnan, S., Haslam, N., & Radke, H. R. M. (2012). Don’t mind meat? The denial of mind to animals used for human consumption. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 247–256. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167211424291
 
2. Jacobs, T. P., Wang, M., Leach, S., Loong, S. H., Khanna, M., Chan, K. W., Chau, H. T., Tam, Y. Y. & Feldman, G. (2022). Revisiting the motivated denial of mind to animals used for food: Replication and extension of Bastian et al. (2012), in principle acceptance of Version 2 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/cru4z
Revisiting the motivated denial of mind to animals used for food: Replication and extension of Bastian et al. (2012) Tyler P. Jacobs, Meiying Wang, Stefan Leach, Siu Ho Loong, Mahika Khanna, Ka Wan Chan, Ho Ting Chau, Yuen Yan Tam, Gilad Feldman<p>This is a scheduled PCI-RR snap shot for a planned project: "Revisiting the motivated denial of mind to animals used for food: Replication and extension of Bastian et al. (2012) ​"</p>Social sciencesChris Chambers Ben De Groeve, Florian Lange, Brock Bastian, Sebastian Berger2022-03-04 04:21:18 View
18 Nov 2022
STAGE 1

Fathers learning on the job: Role of Paternity Leave Duration on Paternal Infant-Directed Speech and Preference for Male Infant-Directed Speech in infants

Dads and baby talk: understanding the role of paternal interaction in infant-directed speech

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Naja Ferjan Ramírez, Melanie Soderstrom and Krista Byers-Heinlein
Infant-directed speech (IDS) – colloquially known as “baby talk” – is a form of speech produced by parents that may be important for emotional bonding with children while also helping infants with early language development. In contrast to adult-directed speech (ADS), IDS is characterised by a higher and broader pitch range, slower speech rate, and shorter/simpler syntax. A significant body of research has studied the dynamics of IDS and shown that infants prefer IDS over ADS, however the great majority of this work has focused on maternal speech, leaving much to be discovered about the differences and similarities between paternal and maternal IDS, the relative preference infants exhibit for paternal IDS compared with ADS, and the role of paternal interaction in shaping these dynamics.
 
Using a Norwegian sample of 70 fathers and children, the proposed study by Robberstad et al. (2022) takes an important step into this less-explored domain, asking whether (and if so, how) fathers employ IDS when interacting with infants, whether any such modulation of speech is related to the amount of time they spend as a caregiver, whether infants show the same preferences for IDS over ADS in fathers as observed previously in mothers, and whether that preference is related to the amount of exposure the infant has to parental speech. The authors will analyse speech modulation using acoustic analysis, while preference for IDS will be tested using eye-tracking to measure infants’ overt gaze orientation while listening to IDS vs ADS.
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over two rounds of in-depth review. Based on detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/c43xu
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA. 
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
References
 
1. Robberstad, S., Kartushina, N. & Mayor, J. (2022). Fathers learning on the job: Role of paternity leave duration on paternal infant-directed speech and preference for male infant-directed speech in infants, in principle acceptance of Version 3 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/sjupt
Fathers learning on the job: Role of Paternity Leave Duration on Paternal Infant-Directed Speech and Preference for Male Infant-Directed Speech in infantsSilje Robberstad, Natalia Kartushina & Julien Mayor<p>The acoustic properties of infant-directed speech (IDS) and the functions that IDS may serve in language development have been highly debated in research. However, previous research has mostly explored IDS in mothers and the preference for mate...Social sciencesChris Chambers2022-06-27 20:53:13 View
17 Nov 2022
STAGE 2
(Go to stage 1)

Removing barriers to plant-based diets: assisting doctors with vegan patients

Informing doctors of the evidence on plant-based diets

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Alaa Aldoh, Joshua Tasoff and Bence Palfi
What the best diet is has always been an area of contention. But one thing is clear: Meat is not necessary for health or fitness, and a diet high in plant proteins may well be especially healthy (e.g. Herpich et al., 2022). Further, plant- rather than animal-based diets leave a lower carbon footprint. So what might hold people back from adopting a plant-based diet? One reason is that people may understandably approach their doctor for advice; and the doctor may advise against it, given that many doctors are not well trained in nutrition (Crowley et al., 2019).

Espinosa et al. (2022) conducted a randomised control trial on French general practitioners with 200 doctors given a leaflet and access to an online platform, and 200 controls. The information in the materials concerned the health benefits of plant-based diets, and what nutrients (e.g. B12) may be deficient and what may not be. Attitudes towards and knowledge about plant-based diets was assessed. On a scale of 0-100% expressing whether they would advise for or against (0 = not at all, 100 = absolutely), the intervention shifted attitudes making them more positive about plant based diets by 17 percentage points. However, knowledge of specifically what is worth testing for (e.g. is zinc deficiency more probable or not?) did not change much. The research shows just what can be achieved by a small leaflet (shifting attitudes) and what may require more extensive training (knowledge of relevant medical practice).

The Stage 2 manuscript was evaluated over one round of in-depth review. Based on the responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 2 criteria and awarded a positive recommendation.
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/fc9gp
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that was used to answer the research question existed prior to Stage 1 in-principle acceptance.
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 

References

1. Crowley, J., Ball, L. & Hiddink, G. J. (2019.) Nutrition in medical education: a systematic review. Lancet Planetary Health. 3, e379–e389. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(19)30171-8
 
2. Herpich, C., Müller-Werdan, U., & Norman, K. (2022). Role of plant-based diets in promoting health and longevity. Maturitas, 165, 47-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2022.07.003
 
3. Espinosa, R., Arpinon, T., Maginot, P., Demange, S. & Peureux, F. (2022). Removing barriers to plant-based diets: assisting doctors with vegan patients, acceptance of Version 2 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/kq6eh?view_only=66eab29c7acb4aebbcec4631cbcb9217
Removing barriers to plant-based diets: assisting doctors with vegan patientsRomain Espinosa, Thibaut Arpinon, Paco Maginot, Sébastien Demange, and Florimond Peureux<p>Shifting to plant-based diets can alleviate many of the externalities associated with the current food<br>system. Spontaneous shifts in diet are often hindered by consumers’ imperfect knowledge about the<br>health risks and benefits, which lead...Medical Sciences, Social sciencesZoltan Dienes2022-08-27 11:01:32 View
17 Nov 2022
STAGE 1

Removing barriers to plant-based diets: assisting doctors with vegan patients

Stage 1 acceptance (IPA)

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Joshua Tasoff, Bence Palfi and Alaa Aldoh

Thank you for your careful response to the points of myself and the reviewers. I am now happy to award in principle acceptance (IPA). As requested, your submission is being awarded a private Stage 1 acceptance, which will not appear yet on the PCI RR website. Your Stage 1 manuscript has also been registered under the requested 4-year private embargo on the OSF (link below).

URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/fc9gp

Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA.

List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:

Removing barriers to plant-based diets: assisting doctors with vegan patientsRomain Espinosa, Thibaut Arpinon, Paco Maginot, Sébastien Demange, and Florimond Peureux<div style="text-align: justify;">Shifting to plant-based diets can alleviate many of the externalities associated with the current food system. Spontaneous shifts in diet are often hindered by consumers’ imperfect knowledge about the health risks...Medical Sciences, Social sciencesZoltan Dienes2021-08-16 16:50:43 View
14 Nov 2022
STAGE 2
(Go to stage 1)
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Breaking Ban: Belgium’s ineffective gambling law regulation of video game loot boxes

Loot boxes remain prevalent in Belgium despite their “ban”

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Andrew Moshirnia, Joseph Macey and Jason Chin
Several countries currently struggle to legally interpret and deal with loot boxes, i.e. gambling-like mechanisms that have become common especially in contemporary videogame design. One of the few countries to take a clear regulation stance is Belgium, which officially announced that they interpret paid loot boxes as games of chance that violate their Gaming and Betting Act and can thus be criminally prosecuted (Naessens 2018). This announcement four years ago laid the basis for a unique social experiment where companies offering loot boxes in Belgium had to decide whether to modify their games, exit the market, or continue to monetize with loot boxes. In the present study, Xiao (2022) investigated the outcomes of this experiment both via hypotheses testing and exploratory analysis.
 
Using the 100 highest-grossing iPhone games in Belgium as data and applying comprehensive qualitative mechanical analysis to each title, Xiao (2022) tested three preregistered hypotheses regarding loot box prevalence. None of the hypotheses were confirmed: the prevalence rate of loot boxes in the Belgian App Store was not null but extremely high (82.0%), also among mobile games designed for minors (54.2–80.2%), and significantly more compared to global standards when assessed by a binomial test (p<.001). Corroborating a fourth hypothesis, Xiao was also able to access various UK loot boxes in Belgium. In exploratory research, Xiao received a confirmation from the Belgian Gaming Commission that even “simulated gambling games” (that do not yield monetary wins) also legally constitute gambling in Belgium.
 
The results are the first to describe outcomes of ban-driven loot box regulation globally. Despite Belgium’s clear statement that “paid loot boxes must be removed from the video games in order to comply with the Belgian Gaming and Betting Act” (Naessens 2018, p. 16), almost all highest-grossing iPhone games in the Belgian App Store keep offering them. The finding is important especially for the legal authorities around the world who are currently assessing their own positions in potential regulation: simple statements are unlikely to have immediate effects on international companies in local markets. On the other hand, it remains unknown how these companies have interpreted the statement and what are their distinct reasons for continuing to offer loot boxes in the Belgian App Store. It would be important in future research to investigate the companies’ perspectives.
 
This study (Xiao 2022) is important also from a meta-scientific perspective. It paves the way for Registered Reports in new disciplines and methods, and involves an exceptional field experiment that was carefully documented with open data and materials. Three external experts reviewed the Stage 2 manuscript twice, based on which the recommender awarded a positive recommendation.
 

URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/5mxp6

Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that was used to answer the research question existed prior to Stage 1 in-principle acceptance.

List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:

 

References
 
1. Naessens, P. (2018) Research Report on Loot Boxes [English Translation]. Belgian Gaming Commission. URL: https://www.gamingcommission.be/sites/default/files/2021-08/onderzoeksrapport-loot-boxen-Engels-publicatie.pdf
 
2. Xiao, L.Y. (2022) Breaking Ban: Belgium’s ineffective gambling law regulation of video game loot boxes. Stage 2 Registered Report, acceptance of Version 2 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/hnd7w 
Breaking Ban: Belgium’s ineffective gambling law regulation of video game loot boxesLeon Y. Xiao<p>Loot boxes in video games are gambling-like mechanics that players buy to obtain randomised rewards of varying value. Loot boxes are conceptually and psychologically similar to gambling, and loot box expenditure is positively correlated with se...Humanities, Social sciencesVeli-Matti Karhulahti2022-07-28 12:29:57 View