Peer Pressure: Experimental Evidence from Restroom Behavior

Last registered on May 02, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Peer Pressure: Experimental Evidence from Restroom Behavior
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002112
Initial registration date
May 02, 2017
Last updated
May 02, 2017, 1:36 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Universidad de San Andres

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Universidad de San Andrés

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2016-01-01
End date
2017-01-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study provides experimental evidence on the effect of peer pressure on individual behavior by seeing being exposed to an observer increases the probability of handwashing. The results indicate that being exposed to an observer does increase this probability by 13 percentage points and the probability of urinal flushing by 15 percentage points.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
, and Martin Rossi. 2017. "Peer Pressure: Experimental Evidence from Restroom Behavior." AEA RCT Registry. May 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2112-1.0
Former Citation
, , Martin Rossi and Martin Rossi. 2017. "Peer Pressure: Experimental Evidence from Restroom Behavior." AEA RCT Registry. May 02. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2112/history/17085
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The purpose of the intervention is to study whether social pressure influences public restroom behavior in male adults.
Intervention Start Date
2016-01-01
Intervention End Date
2017-01-01

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
handwashing, urinal flushing
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment was performed in male restrooms at Universidad de San Andrés in order to assess the effect of social pressure on two variables of interest: handwashing and urinal flushing. The experiment itself was conducted in three shifts: 1) a morning shift from 10 am to 12 pm, 2) mid-day shift from 12-2pm and 3) afternoon shift from 2-4pm. Six males acted out as the evaluators. They would each enter the restroom 8 seconds after the participant and place himself at another urinal. The observer would then act as another user of the restroom, without flushing the urinal or washing his hands. The evaluator would then note if the participant would flush the urinal or wash his hands after using the urinal. For the control group, the evaluator waited outside and listened if the participant flushed the urinal and/or washed his hands.

The results indicate that 66.3% of people wash their hands in public restrooms when no one else is present and this proportion increases by 12.5 percentage points if someone else is present, thereby suggesting that male handwashing in public restrooms is influenced by peer pressure. Similarly, 55.7% of people flush the urinal when no one is present and this raises by 14.9 percentage points if someone is present so that urinal flushing in public restrooms is influenced by peer pressure.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization procedure called BCD which sequentially assigns the participants to control or treated group
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Not specified
Sample size: planned number of observations
Not specified
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Not specified
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
January 01, 2017, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
January 01, 2017, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Not specified
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Not specified
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Not specified
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials