Light-Touch Social Psychology Interventions and Cognitive Control

Last registered on January 26, 2016


Trial Information

General Information

Light-Touch Social Psychology Interventions and Cognitive Control
Initial registration date
January 25, 2016

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
January 25, 2016, 3:09 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
January 26, 2016, 2:15 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

Stockholm University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Oxford
PI Affiliation
University of Oxford
PI Affiliation
Duke University
PI Affiliation
Unievrsity of Oxford

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This document outlines the analysis plan for the study of the effects of three psychological interventions on cognitive control and real effort as measured by Raven's progressive matrices, a Stroop task, and a clicker task. This evaluation took place as a pilot trial across 54 villages in Migori County, Kenya. Random assignment of these psychological interventions allows us to estimate the causal impacts on cognitive control and real effort. Results of this analysis will be used to inform the selection of outcome variables for later trials. Details and an analysis plan for the full study can be found here:
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Dercon, Stefan et al. 2016. "Light-Touch Social Psychology Interventions and Cognitive Control." AEA RCT Registry. January 26.
Former Citation
Dercon, Stefan et al. 2016. "Light-Touch Social Psychology Interventions and Cognitive Control." AEA RCT Registry. January 26.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Raven's progressive matrices: Participants were shown a set of six patterns in a large image on the tablets. For each of the six images, participants will have to choose from a set of objects which object completes the pattern in the large image. This is a paid task where participants can earn KES 20 for each correct answer. There was no time limit for this task and participants could choose to skip questions.

2. Stroop task: In this task, respondents were presented with a list of 25 integers. Respondents had to count the number of times the integer appears on the list. This is a paid task and the payoff will depend on how fast the participant completes the task across all three rounds. KES 10 was deducted from the respondent's total earnings for each uncorrected mistake. Corrected mistakes were not penalized. Participants played three rounds of this task.

3. Clicker task: In this task, participants will have three minutes to click as many times as they can on a clicker device provided to each participant. This was a paid effort task that paid KES 10 per 100 clicks rounded up to the nearest KES 10. Participants must hold the clicker in one hand during the entire task and cannot switch hands to make clicks. Participants conducted a practice round before the paid round.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This study sampled from rural households across 54 villages in Migori County, Kenya. We conducted a census of 12,707 households between August 2015 and Septemer 2015 to determine eligibility for the project. In order to be eligible, households must have met the GiveDirectly eligibility criteria for Kenya. After sampling, households were stratified by poverty level. Eligible households were cluster randomized by village and poverty level into the control group or one of three treatment arms: “Aspirations”, “Affirmations”, and “Placebo”. Data collection for baseline ocurred between October 2015 and December 2015. Project staff returned to surveyed households one week later for delivery of the intervention The second wave of data collection ocurred between November 2015 and January 2016. Respondents completed the endline survey approximately 5 weeks after receiving the intervention.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Social Science & Humanities Inter-Divisional Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Light-Touch Social Psychology Interventions and Cognitive Control: Pre-Analysis Plan

MD5: 3df1cbccf8fdefbc24786db0663a80b3

SHA1: 98e139011dafa66aa0c04a90fb596a0fd8d6926d

Uploaded At: January 25, 2016


Post Trial Information

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials