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The effect of self-confidence and expectations on performance
Last registered on May 07, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The effect of self-confidence and expectations on performance
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001228
Initial registration date
May 07, 2016
Last updated
May 07, 2016 4:38 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
State University of New York (Binghamton) & Harvard University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2016-05-01
End date
2017-04-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
There is ample evidence that emotions affect performance. Positive emotions can improve performance, while negative ones can diminish it. For example, the fears induced by the possibility of failure or of negative evaluations have physiological consequences (shaking, loss of concentration) that may impair performance in sports, on stage, or at school. There is also ample evidence that individuals have distorted recollection of past events and distorted attributions of the causes of success or failure. Recollection of good events or successes is typically easier than recollection of bad ones or failures. Successes tend to be attributed to intrinsic aptitudes or effort, while failures are attributed to bad luck. In addition, these attributions are often reversed when judging the performance of others.

Compte and Postlewaite (2004) incorporate the phenomenon that emotions affect performance into an otherwise standard decision theoretic model and show that in a world where performance depends on emotions, biases in information processing enhance welfare.

We test their empirical predictions of the Compte and Postlewaite (2004) model using the study design described below.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Nikolov, Plamen. 2016. "The effect of self-confidence and expectations on performance." AEA RCT Registry. May 07. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1228-1.0.
Former Citation
Nikolov, Plamen. 2016. "The effect of self-confidence and expectations on performance." AEA RCT Registry. May 07. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1228/history/8137.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
In two subsequent sessions, subjects will be given a task to solve within 30-min.

Each subject will be randomized into five treatment groups as described:

Task Target: High or Low
Piecemeal Rate (for bonus/penalty if target not reached): High or Low
Control group

Each subject’s pay will be based on the following function:

Subject’s pay = Task performance + Target performance

● Instructions for Phase 1 will be given. Instructions will highlight the sample tasks, examples and opportunity for subjects to ask any questions.
● Phase 1: We elicit for all subjects a proxy for “confidence” level regarding their performance on the tasks.
○ Then, subjects perform a task within a 30-min timeframe. Their task is scored and given an objective score.
○ Throughout 30-min session, targets will be announced to subjects every 5 minutes.
○ We elicit subject’s subjective assessment of performance from Phase 1; We elicit brief measure of “confidence” and “concentration”
● Phase 2: Subjects perform the task again within a 30-min timeframe
● Phase 3: We administer a short survey collecting socio-economic and risk-preference elicitation, subject’s subjective assessment of performance from Phase 1 and 2.

We will study the effect of treatment group randomization on task performance in Phase 2.
Intervention Start Date
2016-05-20
Intervention End Date
2017-04-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Labor productivity, Task performance
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In two subsequent sessions, subjects will be given a task to solve within 30-min.

Each subject will be randomized into five treatment groups as described:

Task Target: High or Low
Piecemeal Rate (for bonus/penalty if target not reached): High or Low
Control group

Each subject’s pay will be based on the following function:

Subject’s pay = Task performance + Target performance

● Instructions for Phase 1 will be given. Instructions will highlight the sample tasks, examples and opportunity for subjects to ask any questions.
● Phase 1: We elicit for all subjects a proxy for “confidence” level regarding their performance on the tasks.
○ Then, subjects perform a task within a 30-min timeframe. Their task is scored and given an objective score.
○ Throughout 30-min session, targets will be announced to subjects every 5 minutes.
○ We elicit subject’s subjective assessment of performance from Phase 1; We elicit brief measure of “confidence” and “concentration”
● Phase 2: Subjects perform the task again within a 30-min timeframe
● Phase 3: We administer a short survey collecting socio-economic and risk-preference elicitation, subject’s subjective assessment of performance from Phase 1 and 2.

We will study the effect of treatment group randomization on task performance in Phase 2.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer
Randomization Unit
individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
500 subjects
Sample size: planned number of observations
500
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
500
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS