Can the rainbow flag decrease discrimination? LGBT Discrimination and Symbols

Last registered on July 28, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Can the rainbow flag decrease discrimination? LGBT Discrimination and Symbols
Initial registration date
July 26, 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
July 28, 2023, 2:03 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Tilburg University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Tilburg University

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 study aims to identify the presence of (taste-based) discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals, and whether it can be reduced by norm signalling. The experiment will involve a dictator game with third-party punishment. The primary focus will be on the behaviour of the dictators. LGBTQ+ discrimination will be measured by comparing donations to receivers wearing a rainbow shirt and those wearing a 'normal' shirt. The effectiveness of norm signalling will be measured by comparing donations when the third party has chosen an avatar with a rainbow flag t-shirt versus a regular t-shirt.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Aktas, Usame Berk and Jan Potters. 2023. "Can the rainbow flag decrease discrimination? LGBT Discrimination and Symbols." AEA RCT Registry. July 28.
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Experimental Details


Players will create avatars and play a third-party dictator game where the avatars will be visible. At the avatar creation part players will be endowed with 100 tokens to create their avatars by choosing the hair, clothing and background picture. One of the clothing available will be a t-shirt with a rainbow flag. We will manipulate the pricing scheme of the clothing options to make sure some players select this option. The study involves three treatment groups: base, discrimination, and intervention, with each treatment consisting of four scenarios involving receivers and punishers of each gender. In the base treatment, dictators will be matched with players wearing neutral t-shirts. In the
discrimination treatment, the receiver will wear an LGBT (rainbow) t-shirt while the punisher will wear a neutral t-shirt. In the intervention treatment, both the punisher and receiver will wear LGBT t-shirts. Dictators will be randomly assigned to a specific treatment group.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The amount sent by the dictator, the amount dictator would send if there knew for sure that a third party would not punish them, sexual prejudice
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
At the start of the experiment, participants will have a budget of 100 tokens to create their avatars. They will then undertake a real effort task, where their goal is to count the number of right arrows on matrices until they accumulate a total of 200 tokens. Once this task is completed, participants will proceed to take part in a third-party dictator game, which closely resembles the structure outlined in Fehr and Fischbacher's study (2004). In this game, participants will allocate the 200 tokens they earned during the previous real-effort task. Finally, the experiment will conclude with a brief questionnaire.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Players randomly selected into treatment by the day the decided to login to the Prolific platform
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Not applicable
Sample size: planned number of observations
We are aiming to recruit around 400 individual players via the Prolific platform.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
120 dictators for each treatment. Punishers and receivers will be recruited based on the need.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
There is no available reference study for power calculation. Given the common experimental practices our sample size should be more than enough.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Tilburg University Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB FUL 2023-007
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


MD5: 6a8de1e9f0b1959fcb2b8eef60a85061

SHA1: 12b7638deb3898d0619d5a1581b5dd17608527e5

Uploaded At: July 26, 2023


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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