Study 1a of Giessner and Schubert (2007) found a causal effect of vertical spatial cues on power judgments. Recent work showed that this was a false positive (Klein et al., 2018). Here, we test whether another paradigm (i.e., original Study 3a) can be replicated, and develop an adjusted paradigm of original Study 1a to clarify what kind of vertical spatial cues influence power judgments. Our current preregistered Study 1 confirms original Study 3a of Giessner and Schubert (2007). It shows that information about the power of a leader is represented spatially by placing the leader’s box higher in an organigram. Our current Study 2 distinguishes vertical ranks from magnitude of vertical spatial difference without changes in rank. The original Study 1a and the failed replication manipulated only magnitude while leaving rank equal. We confirm the null finding here. However, we also find that vertical rank order does indeed affect power judgments, again in a preregistered study, and in line with prior work. In sum, building on earlier work and the failed replication, we clarify that vertical rank order, but not magnitude of elevation, are associated with power judgments.
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