On the motivational power of pride: a field study with participants in a road-running event.
Last registered on May 13, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
On the motivational power of pride: a field study with participants in a road-running event.
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004154
Initial registration date
April 30, 2019
Last updated
May 13, 2019 11:36 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Oxford
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Oxford
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2018-12-03
End date
2019-06-28
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Pride is a powerful motivational force, which often propels individuals to take on personal challenges and push beyond their limits. One context in which the demand for personal challenges manifests itself very clearly is participation in road-running events such as marathons, which have become increasingly popular over the recent years. We conduct a two-part online study with participants in a ten-mile race in Washington DC, which typically attracts 15,000 – 20,000 (mostly amateur) runners each year. We survey volunteer participants before and after the event in order to study their motivation to perform at their best during the race as well as the pride they derive from their achievement.

Of particular interest to us is the motivation that emerges from perceived threats to one's (self or social) image triggered by others' assessments. Consider Ben who was told by his dad that he should forget about applying to Ivy League schools and concentrate instead on schools ``at his level''. Or think about Carol whose colleagues think she does not have what it takes to be promoted. It is not difficult to think of examples where the desire to prove others wrong pushes people to perform beyond others' (and possibly, their own) expectations. Examples in a sports context abound. We investigate the power of this motivational force in the context of the ten-mile race.

In the pre-race survey (already conducted), 431 participants were asked to tell us about their time goal for the race and were challenged/encouraged to achieve it. Participants saw one of 6 different versions of the pre-race survey, which differed in whether we (i) expressed doubts about their ability to achieve their time goal; (ii) rewarded them for achieving their time goal (with either a $10 or a $25 gift card). The post-race survey collects data about participants’ satisfaction regarding their race performance and their valuation of several aspects of the event such as the race medal.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Milligan, Jessica and Severine Toussaert. 2019. "On the motivational power of pride: a field study with participants in a road-running event.." AEA RCT Registry. May 13. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4154/history/46384
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
For this study, we use a combination of several data sources, including a Pre and Post race survey which included an experimental treatment. In the Pre-race survey, runners were randomised into one of 4 different treatments, which differed in whether (i) we expressed doubt about their ability to meet their time goal in the race; (ii) we offered them monetary incentives for meeting their goal. We included a cross randomisation of the monetary incentives ($10 / $25).

The intervention is complete, but the data collection is not yet completed (final data collection will be in the end of June 2019).

The full details of the intervention, including details about the surveys together with other data sources, are in the Pre Analysis Plan.
Intervention Start Date
2019-04-04
Intervention End Date
2019-04-07
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Race Performance: Goal attained. This is an indicator for whether the participant met the time goal they provided in the Pre-Race Survey

See Pre-analysis plan for other outcomes.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
See Pre-analysis plan.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We recruited 431 runners from a 10 mile race (over 17,000 runners in total) to take part in a Pre and Post Race Survey. As an incentive to sign up and complete both surveys, runners were informed they could win prizes. 407 runners in total finished both the Pre and the Post Race Survey.

In the Pre-race survey, runners were randomised into one of 4 different treatments, which differed in whether (i) we expressed doubt about their ability to meet their time goal in the race; (ii) we offered them monetary incentives for meeting their goal. The groups were Control, Money, Pride and Pride & Money. The monetary incentives in the Money and Pride & Money treatments were cross randomized to be either $10 or $25 sports clothing vouchers.

The choice of sample size was partly dictated by budget constraints (lottery prizes and payment of vouchers for those who met their goal) and by power calculations.

Full details are available to read in the Pre Analysis Plan.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
In the Pre-race survey, randomization into the control group or one of the 3 treatment groups was done in Qualtrics; an equal number of survey participants was allocated into each group.

Likewise, the incentive level for the Money and Pride & Money Treatments was also randomized into equal groups offered either $10 or $25 by Qualtrics.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
431 individuals (214 women and 217 men). More details on the recruitment is in the Pre-Analysis Plan. We wanted a total of 400 (100 in each treatment group) participants to complete the study, and anticipated some attrition between the Pre and Post race surveys, hence we over-recruited for the first survey.
Sample size: planned number of observations
431 individuals (for primary race performance variables, only Pre race survey data is needed).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Pre-race survey (413):
Control: 108 individuals.
Pride treatment: 108 individuals.
Money Treatment: 109 individuals (54 with $10 incentive, 55 with $25 incentive).
Pride and Money Treatment: 106 Individuals (53 with $10 incentive, 53 with $25 incentive).

Post-race survey: 407.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
19% difference in number of runners achieving their goal time between control group and treatment group. 25% estimated to be the number of Control group runners who will make their goal. Further details in the Pre Analysis Plan.
Supporting Documents and Materials
Documents
Document Name
Pre and post race survey text
Document Type
survey_instrument
Document Description
Full text for the Pre and the Post race survey.
File
Pre and post race survey text

MD5: 45859bf939defa3688a5c96ffb55b438

SHA1: c7992de1e9f876893fdfe2e2530b79028e17a33e

Uploaded At: April 30, 2019

IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Department of Economics
IRB Approval Date
2019-04-02
IRB Approval Number
ECONCIA19-20-04
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
Pre Analysis Plan

MD5: 4e6e5f98b25a6ebc98e92e01bc06b9cb

SHA1: 174b9c8254294fb1587ce082f2be1aa16d9193c7

Uploaded At: April 30, 2019