Gender Differences in Task Perceptions: Experimental Evidence

Last registered on March 15, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Gender Differences in Task Perceptions: Experimental Evidence
Initial registration date
March 05, 2024

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 15, 2024, 3:53 PM EDT

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


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Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Melbourne
PI Affiliation
Monash University
PI Affiliation
University of Exeter

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Real-effort tasks in experimental economics provide valuable insights into labor market outcomes by mimicking real-world work dynamics. Gender experiments often use these tasks to explore biases and differences in task performance, confidence, and competition entry. However, previous research indicates that gender performance variations may be influenced by task perceptions, especially those seen as favoring a particular gender. This study examines the influence of gender stereotypes on task performance perceptions, beliefs, and misperceptions. Using five commonly real-effort tasks, we analyze how individuals assess their own performance, interpret task gender associations, and adhere to social norms regarding gender-based task performance. Our analysis plan includes outcome variables such as task performance, beliefs about performance, task perceptions, social norms, and misperceptions. We hypothesize gender differences in performance, beliefs, perceptions, and confidence, influenced by task gender congruence and societal expectations.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Erkal, Nisvan et al. 2024. "Gender Differences in Task Perceptions: Experimental Evidence." AEA RCT Registry. March 15.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcomes include:
• Task performance (both absolute and relative)
• Beliefs about performance (both absolute and relative)
• Task perceptions
• Social norms (or norm perceptions)
• Misperceptions (task misperceptions and norm misperceptions)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The baseline experiment consists of two parts:
Part 1: Task Performance
In Part 1, participants will undertake a series of real-effort tasks tailored to evaluate their task performance, beliefs, perceptions, confidence, and misperceptions regarding gender stereotypes. These tasks include Emotion, Encryption, Math, Rotation, and Ravens. Participants will engage in tasks assessing emotional intelligence, logical reasoning, mathematical problem-solving, spatial reasoning, and abstract reasoning skills.

Part 2: Belief Elicitation
In Part 2, all participants will respond to four Belief Questions related to each task, assessing their perceptions of performance (both absolute and relative) and gender differences (first- and second-order gender-task perceptions).

After completing Part 2, participants will respond to a survey include demographic questions (e.g., age, nationality, study level, etc.) and questions about their experience in the experiment.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization is vital to mitigate order effects during task completion and belief expression.

In Part 1, participants are assigned random task sequences to complete the five tasks. Each participant is randomly assigned one of the following sequences:
1) Emotions, Encryption, Math, Rotation, Ravens;
2) Rotation, Math, Encryption, Ravens, Emotions;
3) Math, Emotions, Ravens, Encryption, Rotation;
4) Encryption, Ravens, Rotation, Emotions, Math;
5) Ravens, Rotation, Emotions, Math, Encryption.
These sequences are allocated randomly by a computer to ensure variability across participants and prevent biases from a fixed task order.

In Part 2, the options for perception and norm questions include:
1) Men perform better,
2) Women perform better, and
3) Men and women perform equally.
Each participant is randomly assigned an option order by the computer to minimize order effects. However, within each participant, the assigned order remains consistent for all belief questions related to task perceptions and social norms.
Randomization Unit
The randomization unit for this experiment is the individual participant. There is only one level of randomization, with participants assigned to task sequences individually.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
120-130 participants
Sample size: planned number of observations
We are aiming for 120-130 participants, 60-65 for each gender
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
120-130 participants in total for 5 task sequences
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Power calculations are included in the Pre-analysis Plan.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
University of Exeter Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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