The American Economic Association's registry for randomized controlled trials
Role of Beliefs on Study Effort
Last registered on January 16, 2018
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Role of Beliefs on Study Effort
Initial registration date
March 17, 2017
January 16, 2018 10:40 PM EST
United States of America
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Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Study effort is one of the most important determinants of student performance. Are students aware of how effort translates into performance? And if they are not, can we inform them about this relationship to change their study behavior and outcomes? Through a framed field experiment, this project aims to answer these questions in the context of an online language-learning platform.
Ersoy, Fulya. 2018. "Role of Beliefs on Study Effort." AEA RCT Registry. January 16.
Sponsors & Partners
Stage 1: Participants in Stage 1 are induced to exert different levels of effort depending on their random group assignment.
Stage 2: Participants are randomly assigned in one of the 4 groups: Participants in the control arm do not receive information. Participants in treatment arms are provided with information about the effect of effort on performance for Stage 1 participants. Depending on which treatment arm they are, they get somewhat different information.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The beliefs about how effort affects performance
How many lessons completed during the study period (effort measure)
Improvement in test scores (Will be measured as the difference between final test score and initial test score)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Stage 1: Measuring the Causal Relationship Between Effort and Performance
In Stage 1, participants first complete an initial survey and take an online assessment test. The main aim of the survey is to collect demographic information about participants. The test assesses their initial level of knowledge of Spanish. Participants then sign up for an online language-learning platform. Participants are randomly allocated to online classrooms with different assignment levels. After studying through the platform as assigned for one month, they take another online test that assesses their final level of knowledge and they answer a short survey about their study behavior.
Stage 2: Eliciting and Changing Beliefs about How Effort Affects Performance
In Stage 2, participants first complete the initial survey and take the online assessment test. They then sign up for the same online language-learning platform. Every week, they complete a survey eliciting their beliefs about the importance of study effort on determining performance. After the first belief elicitation survey, a random subset of the participants receives information regarding the effect of the study effort on performance, which is based on the information collected in Stage 1 whereas the others do not receive such information. Participants in Stage 2 are free to study through the platform as much as they like for one month. At the end of study period, they take the final test and answer a short end survey about their study patterns.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization done in office by a computer using the "https://www.random.org" website.
Randomization unit is the individual.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Stage 1: 150 participants
Effort Group 1: 30
Effort Group 2: 30
Effort Group 3: 30
Effort Group 4: 30
Effort Group 5: 30
Stage 2: 460 participants
No Information: 115
Information Group 1 : 115
Information Group 2: 115
Information Group 3: 115
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Is public data available?
Reports and Papers