Contact and perceived similarity to others

Last registered on May 03, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Contact and perceived similarity to others
Initial registration date
April 28, 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, 4:26 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of Chicago

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Southern California
PI Affiliation
University of Southern California
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago

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 an online survey, we elicit perceived similarity between respondents and individuals from three foreign countries, as well as contact between respondents and individuals with ancestry from the same three foreign countries. Using information on respondents' county of residence, we will combine these data with a measure of charitable donations from US counties to the countries of interest (Bursztyn et al. 2023), and instrument contact using historical migrations (push and pull factors) that predict the contemporaneous distribution of foreign ancestry across counties in the US (Burchardi et al. 2019).

We hypothesize that contact between respondents and individuals of a given foreign ancestry causally increases perceived similarity and generosity toward others from that foreign country.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Andries, Marianne et al. 2023. "Contact and perceived similarity to others." AEA RCT Registry. May 03.
Experimental Details


NA: this is an online survey with no experimental intervention
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
-- Perceived similarity to individuals from Japan / the Philippines / Haiti (ranging from 0 to 5)

-- Contact to Japanese-Americans / Filipino-Americans / Haitian-Americans (indicator for any contact)

-- Donations: IHS-transformed number of donations by county to each of the three foreign countries (from Bursztyn et al 2023)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Perceived similarity: We ask participants to complete a short big-five personality test and to guess how many personality traits they have common with individuals from each one of the three countries.

Contact: We ask participants to indicate whether individuals from the group of interest fall into any of the following categories of interaction:
-- friends and family
-- neighbors
-- workplace acquaintances
-- others one regularly interacts with
-- service or hospitality workers

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Subjects answer a short online survey with the following components: Demographics; County of residence; Personality quiz; Perceived similarity to individuals from Japan/ Philippines / Haiti (in randomized order); Contact to Japanese-Americans / Filipino-Americans / Haitian-Americans (in randomized order).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
2000, including a sample of 1000 respondents from a pilot with identical design and wording.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
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