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Effort under recurring and persistent temptation
Last registered on June 10, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Effort under recurring and persistent temptation
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004236
Initial registration date
June 05, 2019
Last updated
June 10, 2019 9:51 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
National Taiwan University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
National Taiwan University
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2019-05-27
End date
2019-07-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We seek to research willingness to exert effort under recurring and persistent temptation. In particular, we want to study the potential depletion of willpower by varying the frequency of opportunity to quit. By varying the frequency of this temptation, we are able to capture whether not refusing a temptation is indeed reducing a limited pool of willpower, or if it is the actual task itself that reduces willpower, or if neither have an effect on quitting behavior. We conduct a laboratory experiment to try and answer this question. In addition, we vary piece rates and payment delay to observe how these may have a role on the ability to refuse temptation to quit. For example, if the reward (payment) is closer in time, does the opportunity to quit instead serve as a reminder of their benefits and encourage persistence? Vs a reward much later, where opportunities to quit are merely reminders of the cost of effort?
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
DeJarnette, Patrick and Gene Zhuang. 2019. "Effort under recurring and persistent temptation ." AEA RCT Registry. June 10. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4236-1.0.
Former Citation
DeJarnette, Patrick and Gene Zhuang. 2019. "Effort under recurring and persistent temptation ." AEA RCT Registry. June 10. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4236/history/47836.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
This intervention is regarding the frequency of quit opportunity. Although subjects can quit at any time, to earn the extra earnings, they must quit at approved times. Please see the Hidden Intervention after completion of study for more details.
Intervention Start Date
2019-05-27
Intervention End Date
2019-07-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The number of seconds after 13 minutes that the worker decides to quit.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Percentage and Number of tasks completed
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
In this experiment, the tasks are pop up string-reversal tasks with a 15 second timer, that require effort and attention. As a result, not every problem will be successfully completed.
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This experiment design is an intervention is regarding the frequency of quit opportunity. Although subjects can quit at any time, to earn the extra earnings, they must quit at approved times. Please see the Hidden Intervention after completion of study for more details.
Experimental Design Details
In the primary treatment arm, there are three groups: In one group, this opportunity to quit is always present after 13 minutes (persistent temptation). In a second group, the opportunity to quit occurs every 5 minutes (starting at the 13 minute mark). In another treatment, this opportunity to quit occurs every 10 minutes (starting at the 13 minute mark). In the secondary treatment arm, we vary the piece rates for completing each problem (either 0.5,1, or 2 NTD). In a third treatment arm, we vary the delay of the payment, either (a) within 3 hours of quitting or (b) in precisely 7 days of quitting.
Randomization Method
Randomization is done in office by a computer (the subject's computer in the laboratory).
Randomization Unit
Done at the individual level
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
120 subjects, but we may have trouble recruiting that many prior to the end of the grant period (academic year ending).
Sample size: planned number of observations
120 subjects
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Equal proportion in each treatment. So 40 for each frequency treament. 40 for each payment rate. 60 for each payment delay.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Estimated 80 subjects based on pilot data (5 min vs 10 min fequency difference). Since we added a third primary treatment group, that is 120 subjects total.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Research Ethics Office (Research Ethics Committee) at NTU
IRB Approval Date
2019-03-04
IRB Approval Number
201902HS004
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