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University of Siegen
Unteres Schloss 3 (US-A 149)
D-57068 Siegen

T: +49 271 740 3040
F: +49 271 740 1 3040
E: paul.marx@uni-siegen.de

Replication Corner (WS 14/15)

Description: Marketing is probably one of the most quickly developing sciences with the highest ratio of unsolved problems to researchers. This might be the reason for the relatively low tendency to replicate results of others studies. Nonetheless, as in any other science, replications are one of the building blocks of the structures of knowledge.

Replications are important for not only gaining greater understanding of new and important effects, but also for verifying these effects, proving their coherence and universality, as well as determining their strength and applicability scope. Consequently, the seminar aims to replicate some of the interesting and intriguing studies in the field of marketing.
Learning objectives: Guided by instructors, students (divided into small groups) will replicate studies from the field of marketing of their choice. In the course of this process, students will tackle various issues of the research process; acquire skills of administering and executing field research projects, as well as gain a deeper understanding of their research topic.
Target audience: The seminar is aimed primarily at the students of bachelor program "Business Administration" (BWL). Students of other programmes are advised to consult LSF and/or module handbooks for information on admission and approval of study credits.
Prerequisites for attending: Successful participation in one or more marketing courses.
(Students who currently participate in the bachelors course "Marketing" and will write the exam in the end of the summer term 2014 are also invited to submit their applications.)
Credit points: 2 SWS
Major course assessment: Active participation in the seminar, esp. successful implementation of a replication study, its presentation and discussion at the seminar, and preparation of a work report in the form of a research paper.
Schedule: Attendance is mandatory for all seminar participants!
Modular course: Fr. 17.10.2014, 10:00 - 12:00, H-F 107/108: Introduction and Kick-Off
Fr. 17.10.2014, 14:00 - 16:00, H-D 2202: One-hour training in literature research in internet databases
Fr. 31.10.2014, 10:00 - 16:00, H-F 107/108: Introduction into Empirical Methods
Fr. 06.02.2015, 10:00 - 16:00, H-C 7326: Final Presentations

Locations will be announced by the beginning of the winter term 2014/2015.
Important dates:
Deadline for applications: Fr., 11.07.2014
Allocation of seminar places: Wed., 16.07.2014
Submission of term papers: Two hard copies and one digital copy with relevant data sheets are to be dropped in the post box at Level 5C (building H) by, at latest: TBA

All Participants of the seminar are advised to take part in the course "Experimentation for Improvement" by Kevin Dunn at Coursera - the leading plattform for online education. This course will help you to better follow the contents of our seminar and to complete your term project.

Seminar description in German:

You can download the seminar description in German language here.


To apply for this seminar please fill out this application form and hand it in to the sercetary's office (HC8308) together with required documents (please note that we don't need any certificates from your school time). You can also drop your application folder in my mailbox that is situated next to the dean's office (in the 5th floor, section C of building H). Alternatively, you can send me an e-mail with all the required documents attached as PDFs.

Style Guide:

The students are advised to cater to this Style Guide when preparing their research papers.


1st session on 17.10.2014
2nd session on 31.10.2014
Interviewer Kit: Questionnaire & Observation Plan


For Example, in the past semester we have tested an effect of arbitrary coherence, which was found by Dan Ariely and reported in his book on irrational behavior of consumers "Predictably Irrational". According to Ariely, our willingness to pay may be influenced by the numbers that we see just before making a purchase decision.

So, we decided to replicate these findings. In our replication experiment, students were asked to write down the last two digits of their matriculation numbers. Immediately after that they were asked to indicate their willingness to pay for four products: a wireless mouse, a wireless keyboard, and two different kinds of good whiskey.

Just as Ariely predicted, the students with higher endings of their matriculation numbers were prepared to pay a significantly higher price for the same products. In fact, the difference of willingness to pay between the group of students with the lowest endings and the group with the highest endings was more than 100%. Moreover, just as Ariely predicted, although the willingness to pay for the products in our replication experiment was arbitrary, the relative prices for two pairs of related products (the two computer components and the two whiskeys) was very logical, i.e. coherent. Everyone was willing to pay more for the keyboard than for the mouse and also pay more for the 12 years old whiskey than for the 10 years old bottle.

In this, we successfully replicated the effect known as arbitrary coherence. “Initial prices are largely arbitrary and can be influenced by responses to random questions; but once those prices are established in our minds, they shape not only what we are willing to pay for an item, but also how much we are willing to pay for related products (this makes them coherent).”

Here's how we’ve conducted our experiment:


Q: Will the seminar be provided in English or in German?
A: The primary seminar language will be German.

Q: Then why the seminar description is in English?
A: Marketing is a very international science. Consequently, most of the research papers in marketing are published in English-speaking academic journals. That is, in the course of the seminar, students will have to research through a vast amount of English-speaking literature. To be able to do this, students need to have a reasonably good command of English (at least reading).

Q: Do we have to write our final report in English?
A: Although desirable, students will not have to write their research paper in English and can accomplish their writing in German. However, research papers written in English will be provided a chance to be published in a leading international academic journal and possibly get acknowledged by the scientific community. It is a good chance to improve one’s CV, isn’t it? ;)

Social Media:

Use this facebook group to discuss relevant issues and share interesting facts with your fellow students and professors:
Replication Corner @Facebook