Experimental Design Details
Participants are recruited for an online study through the aforementioned Cornell University IRB approved participant recruitment system. The Lab pre-screens participants to verify their eligibility. Time slots for participants are open approximately 9 days before the survey is active. The lab administrator also sends an advertisement for available studies on Mondays. Approximately 3 days before the survey's participation deadline, the experimenter sends personal links for the survey to each registered participant's email. All participants read an IRB reviewed and approved online consent form; they are required to actively consent to the form and verify that they are over 18 years of age.
At the beginning of the survey, participants answer 50 questions taken from the open source International Personality Item Pool (IPIP), which are widely used to administer personal tests based on the Five-Factor Model. Participants are scored across five personal traits: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Intellect. The survey generates these scores based on participants’ responses to the 50 questions and displays it to the participant in a table along with their first and last name (collected by the Lab in pre-screenings). A description of how to interpret these personality scores is also provided to the participant. The survey then randomly assigns participants to one of three groups. In the control group, participants are told they will determine their willingness to share data with one other participant. In the treatment group, participants are told they will determine their willingness to share data with one other participant who will earn bonus money based on how much personal data they receive from other participants. In the other group, participants are told they will determine their willingness to share data with many other participants. In the final group, participants are treated with both.
Reservation prices for sharing data are elicited through an incentive-compatible Becker-DeGroot-Marschak (BDM) survey technique. With a slider, participants visually indicate the minimum amount (up to two decimal places) they are willing to accept between $0 and $5, including an option to accept no price in that range. Participants are explicitly told that this mechanism was chosen so that they can do no better than to answer honestly. Additional information on how their response determines their earnings and data sharing outcome is also provided. Once participants indicate their minimum, the survey generates a price to offer them, which determines whether they release their data (and earn bonus money) or not.
Exit survey includes a suite of questions about demographics, social media activity, data privacy concerns, and acceptability of various data privacy scenarios. Participants also enter a lottery to earn additional bonus money if they complete the exit survey questions. Data on time spent per question is also recorded by the survey. The experiment intends to avoid all deception, so all participant choices to share personal data and earnings outcomes are for real. Approximately one week after the participation deadline, personal data is released to pre-selected participants in an email, and the Lab administrator electronically delivers Amazon gift cards total earnings.