How do youths learn altruism and equity? Estimating the impact of embedded ethics in education on social preferences

Last registered on October 05, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
How do youths learn altruism and equity? Estimating the impact of embedded ethics in education on social preferences
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0010171
Initial registration date
October 04, 2022

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
October 05, 2022, 11:31 AM EDT

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

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
National University of Singapore
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
Harvard University
PI Affiliation
Harvard University

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2022-10-04
End date
2023-05-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
The current study investigates the impacts of the embedded-ethics software coding education program with a sample of 200 students in Arusha Girls’ Secondary School in the United Republic of Tanzania. The study randomly assigns the sample into two treatment groups - one where students code interactions of virtual “Standard Nash” agents that only take account of the benefit to oneself, and another where the students code interactions of virtual “Altruistic-Equitable” agents that are interested in not only one’s own benefit but also others’ - and a control group for which no program activities are taken place. Through such random assignment to the intervention, this study plans to study the impact of the embedded-ethics digital education program on students’ i) social preferences in altruism, equity, and inclusion, ii) psychosocial well-being, and iii) other auxiliary socioemotional-learning indicators, such as their interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields and gender-based attitudes.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Chen, Daniel et al. 2022. "How do youths learn altruism and equity? Estimating the impact of embedded ethics in education on social preferences." AEA RCT Registry. October 05. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.10171-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The pre-coded lessons follow a culturally adapted narrative in which the agents play interaction games in which one agent makes a proposal to allocate limited resources for two competing objectives. Throughout the intervention, across 4 to 5 classes, students are assigned to one of the two versions of the pre-coded lesson plan.
Intervention Start Date
2022-10-05
Intervention End Date
2023-02-28

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our main families of outcomes are (1) responses on the three social interactions; (2) responses on the dictator game and equity game; (3) responses on interaction-related psychosocial wellbeing (midline/endline only).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
(1) Three social interactions are ultimatum game and variations of the ultimatum game; (2) we follow the classic dictator game and dictator-equity game used by Rao (2019); (3) for each social-interaction outcome, we ask one follow-up question adapted from the Students’ stress rating scale used in Balamurugan & Kumaran (2008), asking students’ feelings about the outcomes of each interaction on the previous survey.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Our auxiliary families of outcomes include self-reported measures of (4) social preferences in respect to altruism/equity/disability inclusion; (5) general psychosocial wellbeing; (6) STEM attitudes; (7) gender attitudes; (8) frequency of blood donation; (9) social attitude; (10) the level of digital exposure.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
(4) 15 Questions are adopted from the World Value Survey (2022) and Afrobarometer (2021), and Olaleye et al. (2012) in order to measure social preferences in respect to altruism/equity/disability inclusion; (5) We construct a psychosocial well-being index by adopting questions from Cohen's Perceived Stress Scale (1983) and Diener's Satisfaction With Life Scale (1985); (6) We construct a STEM interests index through questions adapted from the Career Aspiration Scale used in Gregor and O'Brien (2015); (7) The gender attitudes index is adapted from the similar index used in Ahn et al. (2022); (10) We measure the level of digital exposure through the framework of DQ (Digital Intelligence) used to measure literacy and skills.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This current study uses a randomized trial to study the impacts of the embedded-ethics software coding education program. Throughout the intervention, across 4 to 5 an-hour-long extracurricular classes, students are assigned to two treatment groups and a control group.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Individual randomization
Sample size: planned number of observations
211 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
85 control, 62 Standard Nash, 64 Altruistic-Equitable
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The MDE for our main outcome is expected to be between 0.464 standard-deviation units (without controls) and 0.325 standard-deviation unites (assuming controls absorb 30% of residual variation).
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
National University of Singapore Business School Faculty Ethics Review Committee
IRB Approval Date
2022-08-12
IRB Approval Number
SP-22-0720
Analysis Plan

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