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Undressed for Success? The Effects of Half-Naked Women on Economic Behavior
Last registered on May 17, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Undressed for Success? The Effects of Half-Naked Women on Economic Behavior
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002989
Initial registration date
May 15, 2018
Last updated
May 17, 2018 11:05 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Stockholm University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2016-04-12
End date
2017-05-26
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Images of half-naked women are ubiquitous in advertising and popular culture. Yet little is known about the potential impacts of such images on economic decision making. We randomize 648 participants of both genders to advertising images including either women in bikini or underwear, fully dressed women, or no women, and examine the effects on risk taking, willingness to compete and math performance in a lab experiment. We find no treatment effects on any outcome measure for women. For men, our results indicate that men take more risk after having been exposed to images of half-naked women compared to no women.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Sandberg, Anna. 2018. "Undressed for Success? The Effects of Half-Naked Women on Economic Behavior." AEA RCT Registry. May 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2989-1.0.
Former Citation
Sandberg, Anna. 2018. "Undressed for Success? The Effects of Half-Naked Women on Economic Behavior." AEA RCT Registry. May 17. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2989/history/29590.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2016-04-12
Intervention End Date
2017-05-26
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
risk taking, willingness to compete, math performance
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In this study, we perform a lab experiment to explore how exposure to images of half-naked women affect risk taking, willingness to compete and math performance in a sample of 648 participants. We randomly allocate participants to one of three conditions: a treatment where advertisements contain half-naked women dressed in bikini or underwear, a treatment where advertisements contain fully dressed women, or a control condition where there are no women present. The only thing differing between the two treatments with images of women is the degrees of nakedness (the identity, posture and facial expression of the depicted women are kept constant).

Risk taking is measured from having participants complete two multiple-price lists in which they face a series of decisions between two lotteries, where one is more risky than the other. Participants make 20 such choices and our measure of risk taking is defined as the fraction of more risky lottery choices. The competitiveness task is similar to the seminal paper by Niederle and Vesterlund (2007), where participants in a first stage perform a math task and get paid according to a piece-rate scheme. In a second stage, participants perform a similar math task and are paid according to a competitive winner-takes-all tournament scheme. In a third stage, participants get to choose between the two payment schemes before performing the task for a third time. Willingness to compete is measured from this binary choice. As a measure of math performance, we use the number of correctly solved math problems in the first non-competitive stage of the competitiveness task.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done in the experimental laboratory by a computer
Randomization Unit
individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
651 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
651 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
-Control (images including no women): 214 individuals (102 men, 111 women, 1 unknown)
-Treatment 1 (images including fully dressed women): 216 individuals (116 men, 100 women)
-Treatment 2 (images including half-naked women): 2221 individuals (113 men, 106 women, 2 unknown)
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
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
May 26, 2017, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
May 26, 2017, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
648 individuals
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
648 individuals
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
-Control (images including no women): 213 individuals (102 men, 111 women) -Treatment 1 (images including fully dressed women): 216 individuals (116 men, 100 women) -Treatment 2 (images including half-naked women): 219 individuals (113 men, 106 women)
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS