How the use of soft propaganda inflate Chinese self-mage

Last registered on October 17, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

How the use of soft propaganda inflate Chinese self-mage
Initial registration date
October 11, 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 17, 2022, 5:18 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
China’s global reputation and soft power have been overestimated by the Chinese public (Huang 2021). What leads to the inflated national image? How the use of propaganda shapes the Chinese public’s national image? Huang (2021) posits that Chinese propaganda, with its omnipresent praise of the country and censorship of negative news, explains the escalating national narcissism. In recent years, the Chinese government has shifted part of the propaganda from traditional media to social media, as it is more widespread and targets a larger audience. Using an online survey experiment, I examine the effectiveness of positive foreign views in increasing the credibility of Chinese propaganda and whether such exposure results in the overconfident Chinese public regarding their world reputation.

External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Liang, Siyu. 2022. "How the use of soft propaganda inflate Chinese self-mage." AEA RCT Registry. October 17.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
media trust, national self-image, and perception of soft power
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
I plan to conduct an online survey experiment among the Chinese public. The online survey experiment will investigate participants’ trust towards different narratives and if exposure to such videos inflates respondents’ self-image in China.
Experimental Design Details
In particular, respondents will be randomly assigned to one of three treatments: video with an American interviewee, video with a Chinese interviewee, or nothing (the control treatment). The interview content is identical. The only difference is the nationality of the interviewee, which will be mentioned during the interview. Participants will first receive pre-treatment questions. Then, participants will be randomly assigned to an original short interview video about COVID or freedom in China. After watching the video, participants will answer China’s national image question and reassess whether watching the video increases or decreases their perception of China’s international view. Finally, participants answer questions regarding their trustworthiness of the video. Demographic questions are asked at the beginning of the experiment.
Randomization Method
Survey - randomly assignment
Randomization Unit
individual randomization for video content (COVID vs freedom) and video narrative (Chinese vs Foreigners)
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
Treatment: 400 -- foreigners/COVID; 400 -- Chinese/COVID; 400 -- foreigners/freedom;400 -- Chinese/freedom
Control: 400
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
North General Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


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