Validation of a survey instrument for norm elicitation in discrimination studies

Last registered on April 16, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Validation of a survey instrument for norm elicitation in discrimination studies
Initial registration date
April 12, 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
April 16, 2024, 3:17 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

Institute of Public Goods and Policies, Spanish National Research Council

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Spanish National Research Council
PI Affiliation
University of Newcastle

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 a previous experimental study, we documented that social norms in discrimination games vary by social context. In particular, we show that participants rate in-group favouritism as more or less socially appropriate based on the social identity that is in play. Participants perceived it to be more socially inappropriate to discriminate on the basis of religious affiliation than on the basis of political identity. The study included also a behavioural task that showed an alignment between social norms and behaviours. Participants opted for decisions that favoured their in-groups more frequently in the social contexts where those decisions were regarded as more socially appropriate. This study was carried out in experimental laboratories in the UK and Spain between 2022 and 2023.

Here, we present a research design to validate a survey instrument that would allow us to explore similar questions using survey research instead of standard laboratory experiments. For that, we plan to repeat the experiment under the same conditions and compare the results of elicited norms with a survey implemented in the lab. Additionally, once validated in the lab, we will implement our instrument in a large-sample survey within an online panel. Our hypothesis is that participants will rate in-group favouritism differently in different contexts of social identity, regardless of the research instrument employed. Moreover, we hypothesise that the rankings of appropriateness of discrimination in different social contexts will be the same across experimental modes
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Lane, Tom, Luis Miller and Isabel Rodríguez Marín. 2024. "Validation of a survey instrument for norm elicitation in discrimination studies." AEA RCT Registry. April 16.
Experimental Details


We will recruit participants based on relevant characteristics and invite them to the experimental sessions. In the experiment, we will bring up one of these characteristics in order to elicit one dimension of their identity. After this priming, participants will carry out a norm-elicitation task.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Evaluations of social appropriateness from the norm-elicitation task in the laboratory mode (outcomes type 1-lab) and from the vignette in the survey mode (outcomes type 2-survey).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The dimension of identity that is primed in every experimental session is varied exogenously, constituting our main treatment. The sessions will be carried out using two different research instruments (a behavioural experiment and a survey), forming two distinctive experimental modes.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Experimental session
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
6 experimental sessions
Sample size: planned number of observations
360 participants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
360 participants: 60 per session, 180 per experimental mode (vignette vs behavioural experiment)
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