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The effects of printed media reports about terrorism
Last registered on August 04, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The effects of printed media reports about terrorism
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002374
Initial registration date
August 04, 2017
Last updated
August 04, 2017 4:48 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2017-08-04
End date
2019-11-15
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Suicide terrorism is an emerging public health topic across the globe. The variety of negative consequences following terrorist attacks can be identified among survivors (psychological difficulties, physical injuries, reduced day-to-day functioning), among the bereaved (post-traumatic stress reactions), and in the general population (acute stress symptoms, fear of new attacks, increase in prejudice against religious minorities etc).One of the main goals of suicide terrorist attacks (STA) is to increase media coverage of attacks to increase fear in the population and promote the goals of terrorist organisations. Previous studies have found a clear link between the number of articles about the initial terrorist incident, and the number of follow-up attacks over the next few week. Suicide terrorist attacks, like other community-based traumatic events, receive extensive media coverage. A significant causal association was found between media exposure and acute stress symptoms, even some year after the attack.
The randomised control trial will be conducted. Participants will be randomly assigned to three groups (in total 150 participants). Each group will read printed media report about suicidal terrorist attack or a control article that uses similar stylistic elements. For the first group the media report will provide information about the suicide terrorist attack with details about origins of the terrorist (e.g., if he/ she was a migrant, or asylum seeker). For the second group of participants, a similar report will be used which, however, does not disclose origins and motivations of the suicide attacker (which is consistent with media recommendations). The third group (control group) will receive media report about homicide, that is not the terror act. Related to the printed media report, participants should fill the questionnaire within three time rounds (T1, T2, T3).
T1- respondents fill the questionnaire before reading the printed media report about STA.
T2- respondents fill the questionnaire immediately after reading the printed media report about STA.
T3 - respondents fill the questionnaire after one week.
Data from the questionnaire will be analysed with appropriate statistical analysis (e.g., ANOVA, linear mixed models), in accordance with earlier studies from the group . We are planning to analyze if the impact of the media reports varies across study groups, and with baseline characteristics of the study participants (e.g. age, sex, vulnerability to suicide).
Questionnaires used will analyse following variables: current mood (Becker 1988), suicidality (Reasons for Living Inventory Linehan, Goodstein, Nielsen, Chiles (1983), stress (SUDS – Subjective Units of Distress Scale- Subjektive Stress Skala, The Australian Center for Post-Traumatic Mental Health (1969), stigma to Suicide, islamophobia (Kunst & Sam, 2013), identification (Identification Scale from Cohen (2001), dichotomous thoughts (Sauerland M, 2015), national pride (Schmidt-Denter U& Schick (2007), political views and socio-demographic characteristics.

External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Laido, Zrinka. 2017. "The effects of printed media reports about terrorism." AEA RCT Registry. August 04. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2374-1.0.
Former Citation
Laido, Zrinka. 2017. "The effects of printed media reports about terrorism." AEA RCT Registry. August 04. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2374/history/20203.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Participants will be randomly assigned to three groups (in total 150 participants). Each group will read printed media report about suicidal terrorist attack or a control article that uses similar stylistic elements. For the first group the media report will provide information about the suicide terrorist attack with details about origins of the terrorist (e.g., if he/ she was a migrant, or asylum seeker). For the second group of participants, a similar report will be used which, however, does not disclose origins and motivations of the suicide attacker (which is consistent with media recommendations). The third group (control group) will receive media report about homicide, that is not the terror act. Related to the printed media report, participants should fill the questionnaire within three time rounds (T1, T2, T3).
T1- respondents fill the questionnaire before reading the printed media report about STA.
T2- respondents fill the questionnaire immediately after reading the printed media report about STA.
T3 - respondents fill the questionnaire after one week.
Intervention Start Date
2017-08-07
Intervention End Date
2018-08-07
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Questionnaires used will analyse following variables: current mood (Becker 1988), suicidality (Reasons for Living Inventory Linehan, Goodstein, Nielsen, Chiles (1983), stress (SUDS – Subjective Units of Distress Scale- Subjektive Stress Skala, The Australian Center for Post-Traumatic Mental Health (1969), stigma to Suicide, islamophobia (Kunst & Sam, 2013), identification (Identification Scale from Cohen (2001), dichotomous thoughts (Sauerland M, 2015), national pride (Schmidt-Denter U& Schick (2007), political views and socio-demographic characteristics.
Would like to find out how different media reports about suicide terrorism/homicide influence recipent´s emotions, attitudes to suicide (stigma to suicide) and also attitudes to minorities (especially related to those with islam religions). Our main hypothesis is that islamophobia increases when media reports provides full information about the terrorist with islamic background and attacker´s main motives for the terroristic act. We expect that effect is smaller when media does not report about suicide terrorist act by revealing all details about the attacker (religion, motives etc) or reports about murder (control article)
All of this knowledge can be used in order to improve media recommendations for reporting about suicide terrorism.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Randomised controlled trial.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by computer
Randomization Unit
150 students will be recruited from Medical School University of Vienna. Upon recruitment they will be randomly divided into 3 groups: 2 intervention and 1 control group. Each group should contain 50 students.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1 University
Sample size: planned number of observations
150 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50 students in intervention group 1, 50 students in intervention group 2, 50 students in control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
For obtaining power of 0.8, with significance level alfa go 0.05 and usage of ANCOVA with measures in 3 time intervals and 3 study groups, with correlation of 0.55 between 3 time interval measures, would require at least 150 people in order to obtain average effect from f=0.25.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Ethikkommission der Medizinischen Universität Wien
IRB Approval Date
2017-04-03
IRB Approval Number
2232/2016
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, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS