Impacts of Noise on Worker Productivity and Decision-making
Last registered on January 11, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Impacts of Noise on Worker Productivity and Decision-making
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001500
Initial registration date
September 16, 2016
Last updated
January 11, 2018 2:01 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
MIT
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2016-09-19
End date
2017-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This experiment is an attempt to understand how urban noise experienced by people in the developing world affects worker productivity, cognitive function, and decision-making. Participants will be recruited to attend a short training course at the Technology Development Centre (TDC) of the Kenyan National Industrial Training Authority. During each of the training sessions, participants will be randomly assigned to produce a practice good in one of two rooms. Then one of the rooms will have noise added using equipment on-site at the TDC. Worker productivity and cognitive performance will be measured during each session, and workers will engage in real-stakes decisions at the end of selected days. Finally, at the end of the training period, participants' willingness to pay for quiet will be elicited.

An additional second experiment was conducted following the design of the first, but using only cognitive assessments and an effort task as the outcomes of interest.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Dean, Joshua. 2018. "Impacts of Noise on Worker Productivity and Decision-making ." AEA RCT Registry. January 11. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1500/history/24859
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Participants will be randomly assigned to work in either a quiet room or a noisy room while producing a practice good during training sessions at the TDC in the first experiment.

In the second experiment, participants will be randomly assigned to work in either a quiet room or a noisy room while taking a battery of cognitive assessments.
Intervention Start Date
2016-09-19
Intervention End Date
2016-12-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Productivity in producing the practice good, performance on cognitive tests, decisions made in three real stakes decision tasks, and willingness to pay for quiet.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Productivity will be constructed by measuring the total number of the practice good made in each session, and the number of the produced goods that meet a necessary quality criteria developed with the TDC.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Approximately 130 participants will be recruited to participate in two-week training courses at the TDC over 4 rounds. During each of the training sessions, workers will be randomly assigned to either practice in noise or in quiet. Noise will be generated using equipment at the TDC. The participants' productivity in producing the practice good and cognitive performance will be measured during each session. At the end of several days, participants will be presented with real stakes decisions. Finally, at the end of the training period, participants' willingness to pay to practice in the quiet room will be elicited.

In the second experiment, approximately 220 participants were recruited to participate in a two-day evaluation in rooms near the TDC. During each session workers were randomly assigned to take the assessments in either noise or quiet. Noise was generated with the same type of engine as in the first experiment. Workers had the opportunity to pay for quiet working conditions on the second day.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Participants will be randomized on the computer to one of several permuted block training schedules, and then for each session the room which is to be noisy will be randomly selected.
Randomization Unit
Individuals will be randomized into either the noisy or quiet room, but the noise will ultimately randomly vary at the room level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
144 room-sessions (2 rooms observed over 72 sessions) in the first experiment

88 room-sessions (2 rooms observed over 44 sessions) in the second experiment
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 130 individuals observed over 18 training sessions in the first experiment. Approximately 220 individuals observed over 4 sessions in the second experiment.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
130 individuals observed approximately 9 sessions in treatment and 9 sessions in control each for the first experiment, and 220 individuals observed approximately 2 sessions in treatment and 2 sessions in control each for the second experiment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
MIT Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2016-07-21
IRB Approval Number
1606621783
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
July 31, 2017, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
July 31, 2017, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
144 room-sessions in the first experiment and 88 room-sessions in the second experiment.
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
128 individuals in 144 room-sessions in the first experiment and 220 individuals in 88 room-sessions in the second experiment.
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
72 room-sessions in the first experiment per treatment arm and 44 room-sessions in the second experiment per treatment arm.
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers