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Experimental Jurisprudence Cross-cultural Study Swap

The last couple of years have witnessed a flurry of papers on the cognitive bases of legal reasoning. These publications generally report empirical studies drawing on relatively homogeneous samples. Thus, it is natural to wonder whether their findings afford fundamental insight into the way people reason about legal concepts, or instead reveal the peculiarities of a specific language, cultural background, or social group. Put simply, if we repeat these experiments with a different population—e.g., lawyers instead of laypeople, Portuguese- instead of English-speakers, older adults instead of undergraduate students—do the results turn out the same or different?

Fortunately, a number of the early career researchers actively working on experimental jurisprudence happened to be scattered around the world—from the United States, to Brazil, Switzerland, Spain, and Lithuania—providing a unique opportunity to answer this very question.

Following the initiative of rockstar Ivar Hannikainen, we came together and established an Experimental Jurisprudence Cross-Cultural Study Swap, pooling our resources to assess the generalizability of preliminary findings in this area. Inspired by previous reproducibility initiatives in psychological science, we have been documenting our progress carefully on our Open Science Framework page: uploading English-language stimuli and translations into every participating language, linking to associated pre-registrations of focal hypothesis tests, and sharing data, of course.

Collectively, we have now conducted a multi-site replication of each of five participating experiments in over ten different countries, gathering data from a few thousand participants. We are also initiating plans for a 2nd Cross-Cultural Study Swap in 2020-21. So, get in touch if you are interested in being involved!

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