Eliciting Social Norms

Last registered on April 13, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Eliciting Social Norms
Initial registration date
April 06, 2023

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
April 13, 2023, 3:49 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)

PI Affiliation
University of Pittsburgh
PI Affiliation
University of Pittsburgh

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
In the experimental literature, social norms are identified by using the method developed by Krupka and Weber (2013).
We plan to replicate the Krupka and Weber experimental design for eliciting social norms using coordination games with a simple modification to test whether this modification leads to similar or different elicited norms.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Huffman, David B, Pauline MADIES and Stephanie W Wang. 2023. "Eliciting Social Norms ." AEA RCT Registry. April 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.11132-1.0
Experimental Details


In their seminal paper, Krupka and Weber (2013) develop an incentivized elicitation method for identifying social norms that uses simple coordination games. Participants are incentivized to match with the modal answer in their judgments.

In this study, we want to test whether the elicited social norms will be different if we ask one group to state the social appropriateness of various actions in different allocation games and another group to guess these social appropriateness ratings rather than asking the same group to complete these two tasks in one. Participants from the latter group will be incentivized to guess the social appropriateness rating most frequently given by participants in the former group. We will test whether this elicitation method leads to similar or different elicited norms than Krupka and Weber (2013).

We will also collect data on demographic attributes, social preferences and cognitive ability from our participants at the end of the experiment to test whether these characteristics are correlated with elicited social norms.

Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We will collect social appropriateness ratings collected from the first group of participants. We will also collect guesses about these appropriateness ratings from the second group of participants. Lastly, we will collect information on demographic characteristics, social preferences and cognitive ability scores from both groups.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We use a between- subject design in an individual decision-making study. Each participant is randomly assigned to either an incentivized or an unincentivized session and is paid a participation fee of $7.
Each participant will first read the descriptions of a series of situations. These descriptions correspond to situations in which one person, "Individual A", must make an allocation decision. For each situation, participants will be given a description of the allocation decision faced by Individual A. This description will include several possible choices available to Individual A.

After they read the description of the decision, participants in the unincentivized sessions will report the social appropriateness of each possible allocation decision on a scale. Participants in these sessions will be asked to report their ratings as truthfully as possible, based on their opinions of what constitutes socially appropriate or socially inappropriate behavior.

In the incentivized sessions, participants will be asked to guess the rating most frequently given by participants in the unincentivized sessions. At the end of the session, we will randomly select one of the allocation situations. For this situation, we will also randomly select one of the possible choices that Individual A could make. Thus, we will select both a situation and one possible choice at random.
For the choice selected, participants will receive an additional $10 if their guess corresponds to the answer most frequently given by participants in the unincentivized sessions.

At the end of both types of sessions, participants will be asked to complete a post-experiment survey including questions on demographic characteristics, social preferences and cognitive ability.

Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
computer program
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
225 participants in the incentivized sessions, 75 in the unincentivized sessions.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We use the effect sizes suggested by Krupka and Weber (2013) to test whether our incentivized method yields similar or different elicited norms. We use effect sizes and variability in their data to calculate the sample size needed to generate >85% power to test this hypothesis.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Pittsburgh Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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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