Kantian Morality on Cooperation Behaviors in Cooperative Games

Last registered on May 03, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Kantian Morality on Cooperation Behaviors in Cooperative Games
Initial registration date
April 27, 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
May 03, 2023, 4:24 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

National Taiwan University

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.
This online experiment investigates the relationship between Kantian morality and cooperation behavior in the context of three different cooperative games: sequential prisoner’s dilemma, trust game, and ultimatum game. We aim to answer the question of how pairing participants with similar backgrounds affects cooperation behavior, pro-social behavior, beliefs, and moral values. Participants are randomly assigned to a control or treatment group. In the control group, participants were paired randomly, while in the treatment group, participants were paired with individuals who shared similar background characteristics, such as grade, attending college, homely city, and work routine. This study provides valuable insights into the underlying mechanisms that drive cooperative behavior and informs our understanding of human social behavior.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Huang, Chia-En. 2023. "Kantian Morality on Cooperation Behaviors in Cooperative Games." AEA RCT Registry. May 03. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.11321-1.0
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Cooperative choice and belief at each decision node
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This study builds upon Van Leeuwen and Alger's (2019) research by investigating human social preferences and Kantian morality through the use of three different two-player games: the sequential prisoner's dilemma, trust game, and ultimatum game. The study incorporates a pairing mechanism treatment, where participants are randomly assigned to either a random matching group or an assortative matching group. In the random group, participants are paired with a randomly assigned opponent, while in the assortative group, participants are matched with opponents who share similar backgrounds in terms of grade, attending college, homely city, and work routine. Participants receive payoffs based on their own decisions and their opponents' decisions.

Similar to Van Leeuwen and Alger's study design, participants undergo 18 rounds of games, with 6 rounds for each game. Prior to making decisions, participants are informed that they have an equal chance of being a first mover or a second mover. However, they do not know which role they are playing and must make decisions at each decision point. Participants are also required to guess the choices of other players and report their belief about the distribution of other participants' decisions. To incentivize participants to make decisions and truthfully report their beliefs, two rounds are randomly selected for decision-making payoffs, and another two rounds are randomly selected for belief reporting payoffs.

This study recruits university students through the Taiwan Social Science Experimental Laboratory (TASSEL) at National Taiwan University. The study is conducted online through Qualtrics surveys, and participants are paired with opponents based on their treatment group after submitting their decision. The results will not be revealed during the 18-round game process.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The treatment randomization was done by computer programming (Qualtrics).
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
272 subjects
Sample size: planned number of observations
272 subjects
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
136 subjects for the random matching group and 136 subjects for the assortative matching group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Post-pandemic Experimental Economics and Social Sciences: From the Lab to Online, Classroom, Survey and Eyetracking Experiments
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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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