Aversion to Dominance

Last registered on October 23, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Aversion to Dominance
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003338
Initial registration date
September 20, 2018
Last updated
October 23, 2018, 4:08 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Chicago

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PI Affiliation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2018-10-23
End date
2018-12-03
Secondary IDs
Abstract
People’s preference for making their own decisions rather than being dominated by others is at the heart of liberal democracies. This aversion to dominance might be reduced by threats to their physical safety, economic status, or gender and racial identity. We study the extent to which individuals prefer not to be dominated using three measures: (1) Directly measuring willingness to pay to avoid being “dominated,” or yielding control over some aspect of their lives to another party, via an experiment called the “Boss Game,” (2) Eliciting willingness to donate to anti-authoritarian causes, and (3) Survey data on preferences for authoritarianism and political engagement. We examine whether people’s aversion to being dominated is weakened when their physical and economic safety, and identity are threatened.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
, , Leonardo Bursztyn and . 2018. "Aversion to Dominance." AEA RCT Registry. October 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3338-3.0
Former Citation
, et al. 2018. "Aversion to Dominance." AEA RCT Registry. October 23. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3338/history/36113
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2018-10-23
Intervention End Date
2018-11-05

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Willingness to pay (Boss Game)
2. Donations
3. Authoritarianism and political engagement survey
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
In the Boss Game, subjects asked to choose between i) a computer deciding the allocation of $1 randomly to either the subject or to another subject; ii) another person making the same allocation decision without knowledge of any information about the two subjects. Using a multiple price list, we elicit participants' willingness to pay (from an additional $2 endowment) to implement option i) rather than option ii).

In the Donation, we ask subjects whether they would like to donate $0.50 from an endowment of $1 to the WWF and to the ACLU, respectively.

Finally, one survey question measuring authoritarianism from TAPS and two survey questions capturing subjects' voting intentions.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Study participants will be recruited through TurkPrime, restricting the subject pool to Republican white males. The graph here (https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1XHCmxqlYrxklXBPes0YUMwQTelrK_E6TFwalLzAX45o/edit?usp=sharing) shows an overview of the experimental design.

Upon asking simple demographics, participants are given one of the following information treatments:

- The Placebo Treatment consists of informing subjects about the timing of the invention of Egyptian hieroglyphs.
- The Physical Safety Threat Treatment informs subjects about the potential danger indicated by the Doomsday Clock being moved closer to midnight.
- The Racial Identity Threat Treatment informs subjects about prominent states and cities where racial minorities outnumber whites.
- The Male Identity Threat Treatment informs subjects that the share of households in which women earn more than their husband has increased.
- The Economic Threat Treatment informs subjects that a large proportion of jobs are at risk of automation.

We collect posteriors relating to the treatments and ask about their opinion regarding their general level of concern for the country.

In the Boss Game, subjects asked to choose between i) a computer deciding the allocation of $1 randomly to either the subject or to another subject; ii) another person making the same allocation decision without knowledge of any information about the two subjects. Using a multiple price list, we elicit participants' willingness to pay (from an additional $2 endowment) to implement option i) rather than option ii).

In the Donation, we ask subjects whether they would like to donate $0.50 from an endowment of $1 to the WWF and to the ACLU, respectively.

Finally, one survey question measuring authoritarianism from TAPS, two survey questions capturing subjects' voting intentions, and posteriors regarding the other treatments not assigned to the subject.

We will adopt several procedures to screen out bots, inattentive survey-takers, and repeat respondents. TurkPrime ensures that respondents fit our demographic criteria of Republican white males located in the United States. TurkPrime also excludes low-effort submissions and speeders, as well as individuals who have completed a pilot of this experiment in the past. At the beginning of the survey, we will elicit demographics (including race/ethnicity) and we will include an ``instructional manipulation check'' (Oppenheimer, Meyvis, and Davidenko 2007), i.e. a misleading multiple-choice question designed to identify bots and inattentive participants.

We hypothesize that:
- Subjects will exhibit a positive average willingness to pay to avoid being dominated as measured by participants' willingness to pay to play game (i) rather than game (ii) in the “Boss Game”
- Subjects in the treatment groups will be willing to pay less to avoid being dominated than the placebo group.
- Subjects in the treatment groups will be less willing to donate to anti-authoritarian causes than the placebo group.
- Subjects in the treatment groups will be more willing to explicitly state a preference for authoritarianism in survey questions, and to express an intention to donate to the Republican party

We will examine the effects of each treatment separately, and hence oversample the placebo group (2x size). We will also consider a specification that pools all treatment groups and compares them to the control group jointly.

Note:
We updated the pre-registration in order to change the survey platform from MTurk to TurkPrime. We made this change since TurkPrime is better suited to filter out non-target demographics and bots/careless responders than MTurk. We also included an additional component measuring voting intention and political engagement. These changes were made before any subjects participated in the experiment.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by Qualtrics
Randomization Unit
Treatments are randomized at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1200 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
1200 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
400 placebo, 200 for each treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
The Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB University of Chicago
IRB Approval Date
2018-03-22
IRB Approval Number
IRB17-0703

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
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