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Xenophobia and Social Desirability: MTurk Online Survey
Last registered on May 18, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Xenophobia and Social Desirability: MTurk Online Survey
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001752
Initial registration date
October 30, 2016
Last updated
May 18, 2019 1:07 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of California, San Diego
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2016-10-31
End date
2016-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We will recruit survey participants on MTurk to conduct an online survey. With this survey, we plan to study 1) whether participants under-report xenophobic sentiments due to their social undesirability, and 2) whether the social undesirability is reduced by knowing that a large proportion of the population supports a presidential candidate with xenophobic views.
First, all subject will answer a few demographic questions. Second, they will be randomized into two groups. Subjects in the control group will receive no information. Subjects in the treatment group will be told what is the probability of a presidential candidate with xenophobic views to win the next election: our hypothesis is that knowing that the presidential candidate has large support, will lead subjects to revise their belief about the social undesirability of expressing xenophobic sentiments. We will collect evidence about this by asking subjects in both groups how many people they think hold xenophobic sentiments in their state. Third, to test our two hypotheses, we will measure subjects willingness to donate money to an immigration-reduction organization. Participants will be randomized into two groups: in one group we will emphasize that their decision is private; in the other group we will tell subjects that "a member of the research team might personally contact you to verify your answers", thus making the decision to be perceived as public. We will test our hypothesis by comparing the donation decisions of subjects in the four (2x2) experimental groups.

In a follow-up experiment to test the same hypotheses, we recruit participants living in the Pittsburgh area through an online panel survey firm. The design of this second experiment is similar to the first one. Participants are also asked to make a donation to an anti-immigration organization and to report how many people they think hold xenophobic views, and are randomized into four different treatments along two dimensions. First, subjects are either informed about the fact that “In the 2016 US Presidential Election, Donald Trump won Pittsburgh’s metropolitan area” or about the fact that “In the 2016 US Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton won Pittsburgh’s county.” Second, subjects are randomized either in a private or in public condition. In this case, however, we randomized the visibility of the donation with respect to participants’ potential peers and not with respect to the surveyor: one half of the participants were offered anonymity, while the other half expected their donation decision to appear on a website to be shared with all the other participants from their area.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Bursztyn, Leonardo and Stefano Fiorin. 2019. "Xenophobia and Social Desirability: MTurk Online Survey." AEA RCT Registry. May 18. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1752-2.0.
Former Citation
Bursztyn, Leonardo and Stefano Fiorin. 2019. "Xenophobia and Social Desirability: MTurk Online Survey." AEA RCT Registry. May 18. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1752/history/46720.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2016-10-31
Intervention End Date
2016-11-07
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Beliefs about the share of people holding xenophobic sentiments. Donation decisions.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Beliefs about the share of people holding xenophobic sentiments is the answer to the following question.

From 0 to 100, what share of people in the population of [state] do you think agrees with the following statement?
“Both legal and illegal immigration should be drastically reduced because immigrants undermine American culture and do not respect American values.”

In the second experiment, we asked instead the following question.
`We will now present two quotes. For each, we will ask you to report what percentage of Pittsburgh voters you believe would agree with the quote.
• “For European American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.”
• “Both legal and illegal immigration should be drastically reduced because immigrants undermine Amer ican culture and do not respect American values.”'

Donation decisions are the answer to the following question.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform is an immigration-reduction organization of concerned individuals who believe that immigration laws must be reformed and seeks to reduce overall immigration (both legal and illegal) into the United States. The founder of FAIR is John Tanton, author of “The Immigration Invasion” who wrote “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.”
Would you like to have us donate $1 on your behalf to the Federation for American Immigration Reform?
If you decide to have $1 donated to the immigration-reduction organization FAIR, we will also transfer $1 extra to your MTurk account. So, if you decide to donate, instead of $0.50 you will be paid in total $1.50. If instead you prefer not to donate, you will be paid only $0.50 for completing the survey.
So would you like to have us donate $1 on your behalf to the Federation for American Immigration Reform?

In the second experiment we asked instead the following question.
`We will now randomly select one among two different organizations, and will give you the opportunity to authorize a donation to the selected organization. [...] If you choose to authorize the donation, you will receive an additional $1, on top of your base payment
for completing the survey. The $1 donation will not be subtracted from your base payment, so your total compensation will be your base payment plus the extra $1. If instead you choose not to donate, you will only receive your base payment for completing the survey.
The organization randomly chosen for you is the Federation for American Immigration Reform
(FAIR).
The Federation for American Immigration Reform is an immigration-reduction organization of concerned individuals who believe that immigration laws must be reformed and seeks to reduce overall immigration (both legal and illegal) into the United States. The founder of FAIR is John Tanton, author of “The Immigration Invasion” who wrote “I’ve come to the point of view that for European American society
and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.”
[...]
Would you like us to donate $1 to FAIR on your behalf?
– Yes, please donate $1 to FAIR on my behalf.
– No, please do not donate $ to FAIR on my behalf.'
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We will recruit survey participants on MTurk to conduct an online survey. First, all subject will answer a few demographic questions. Second, they will be randomized into two groups. Subjects in the control group will receive no information. Subjects in the treatment group will be told what is the probability of a presidential candidate with xenophobic views to win the next election. Third, we will elicit subjects beliefs about how many people they think hold xenophobic sentiments in their state. Fourth, we will measure subjects willingness to donate money to an immigration-reduction organization. Participants will be randomized into two groups: in one group (private) we will emphasize that their decision is private; in the other group (public) we will tell subjects that "a member of the research team might personally contact you to verify your answers", thus making the decision to be perceived as public.

In a follow-up experiment to test the same hypotheses, we recruit participants living in the Pittsburgh area through an online panel survey firm. First, subjects are randomized into two groups. Subjects are either informed about the fact that “In the 2016 US Presidential Election, Donald Trump won Pittsburgh’s metropolitan area” (Trump won treatment) or about the fact that “In the 2016 US Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton won Pittsburgh’s county” (Clinton won treatment). Second, subjects are randomized either in a private or in public condition. In this case, however, we randomized the visibility of the donation with respect to participants’ potential peers and not with respect to the surveyor: one half of the participants were offered anonymity (private condition), while the other half expected their donation decision to appear on a website to be shared with all the other participants from their area (public condition). Third, participants are asked to make a donation to the anti-immigration organization. Fourth, they report how many people they think hold xenophobic views in Pittsburgh. At the end of the survey, the respondents are asked to answer a few demographic questions. The second experiment was conducted between August and October 2018.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The randomization will be done on Qualtrics, a website for conducting online surveys.
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomization will be the individual subject.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
400 individuals About 1,600 individuals for the second experiment.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
100 subjects control private, 100 subjects control public, 100 subjects treated private, 100 subjects treated public.

400 in Trump won private, 400 in Trump won public, 400 in Clinton won private, 400 in Clinton public.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
N/A
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
UCLA IRB
IRB Approval Date
2016-10-26
IRB Approval Number
IRB#16-001667
IRB Name
University of Chicago Social & Behavioral Sciences IRB
IRB Approval Date
2018-06-22
IRB Approval Number
IRB18-0594
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 and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers