Evaluating Social Media
Last registered on November 07, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Evaluating Social Media
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003409
Initial registration date
October 11, 2018
Last updated
November 07, 2018 10:10 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Stanford University
PI Affiliation
Stanford University
PI Affiliation
Stanford University
PI Affiliation
New York University
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-09-24
End date
2018-12-06
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In order to avoid experimenter demand effects, we describe the study in fields that will not become public until after the experiment is over.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Allcott, Hunt et al. 2018. "Evaluating Social Media." AEA RCT Registry. November 07. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3409/history/36941
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
In order to avoid experimenter demand effects, we describe the study in fields that will not become public until after the experiment is over.
Intervention Start Date
2018-10-11
Intervention End Date
2018-12-06
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
See the analysis plan for more information.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
See the analysis plan for more information.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In order to avoid experimenter demand effects, we describe this in the field that will not become public until after the experiment is over.
Experimental Design Details
The rise of social media has profoundly influenced the way many people communicate and get information. There has been growing concern that social media may have unintended negative impacts. Many correlation studies find that higher social media use is associated with lower subjective well-being and mental health. To test these concerns, we carry out a randomized experiment in a large sample of U.S. Facebook users in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections where individuals in a treatment group will deactivate their Facebook accounts for four weeks. We recruit our sample via Facebook ads and measure participants' willingness-to-accept (WTA) to deactivate Facebook for four weeks using an incentive-compatible Becker-DeGroot-Marschak survey technique. A Treatment group is randomly assigned to receive an offer price of $102, which is sufficient to induce most of them to deactivate, while a Control group is assigned to receive an offer of $0 and thus remain active, and a third (very small) group receives price offers randomly drawn from a continuous distribution. With informed consent from all participants, we measure a suite of outcomes using text messages, online surveys, responses to emails about political topics and apps to limit social media use, online data measuring participants' activity on Twitter and Facebook, and administrative records on voting and electoral contributions.
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
3,051 individuals.
Sample size: planned number of observations
3,051 individuals.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
See the analysis plan for more information.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
New York University University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2018-09-06
IRB Approval Number
IRB-FY2018-2139
IRB Name
Stanford University Panel on Human Subjects in Non-Medical Research
IRB Approval Date
2018-06-04
IRB Approval Number
45403
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 and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers