Personality tests and entrepreneurship

Last registered on March 31, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Personality tests and entrepreneurship
Initial registration date
March 31, 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
March 31, 2023, 11:23 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Stanford University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The study provides a methodological contribution to the circumstances under which personality tests can be used effectively in the context of supporting entrepreneurs in developing countries. It tests whether personality tests are valid in these contexts and assesses the degree to which individuals are able and willing to “fake” their personality test results. Furthermore, the study tests whether gender differences in honesty and stereotype threat affect outcomes of otherwise equally qualified individuals and evaluates the extent to which the use of high cognitive load can reduce “faking” and any gender-based disadvantage in the use of personality tests.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Zempleni, Reka. 2023. "Personality tests and entrepreneurship." AEA RCT Registry. March 31.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Entrepreneurial score and Honesty
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Online survey with an RCT approach. (Details hidden)
Experimental Design Details
The study is designed to use an online lab experiment setting to mimic the environment of a lender or investor wanting to use personality tests as a source of information for selection decisions. Some of the treatments (framings) create this environment (where participants can get the option of a highly paid task if their score on the test is among the most entrepreneurial ones) with some modifications (increased cognitive load through time pressure or removing the personal cost of lying by asking to appear entrepreneurial). The rest of the treatments use an honesty framing.

The main outcomes are measured as follows:
Entrepreneurial score (measured by performance in an entrepreneurial game and some logic and financial literacy puzzles) and Honesty (measured as following through on completing a task after the main survey is done)
The main treatment arms are incentivized as follows:
- Honest: you receive a personalized assessment including advice that might be helpful
- Evaluation mode: bonus payment, up to $0.40, the closer the answers to the researcher's criteria, the more
- Other three conditions: the top scorers are invited to a short follow up call for a compensation of $50
The Entrepreneurial score measures are also incentivized using a piece rate.
For the Honesty measure, participants agree to get an additional $1.50 bonus payment now in exchange for promising to complete a short follow up task at a later time, receiving no payment at the time of completion.

The study is implemented in 3 parts, using volunteer Stanford alumni participants, paid India based Amazon MTurk workers, and US based Prolific workers. The Stanford alumni participants select a nonprofit of their choice and the bonus payments they collect are donated to the nonprofit of their choice while the other two groups receive bonus payments themselves.
The Stanford Alumni data collection began on 3/21, the Mturk data collection will begin on 3/31 and the Prolific data collection will start in April.

The goal of the study is to test the susceptibility of the personality test results to the framing and incentives used, to test their predictive power on the key outcomes of interest (and on the product of the two key outcomes of interest, that an investor or lender would care about). Additionally, the study aims to test any gender differences in the scores and whether some of the treatments can mitigate them. Additionally, the study aims to test differences between geographies (India vs US) and between highly educated populations and others (Stanford alumni vs Mturk and Prolific workers).
Randomization Method
Qualtrics software
Randomization Unit
Individual participants.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Individual units are used, no clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 300 from each of the three sources.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1/9: evaluation then honest (control)
2/9: honest then evaluation
2/9: incentivized
2/9: incentivized with cognitive load
2/9: incentivized to appear
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Non-Medical Research of Stanford University
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