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Do role models increase student hope and effort?
Evidence from India
Initial registration date
July 16, 2019
July 16, 2019 4:49 PM EDT
University of Glasgow
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
This study examines the effect of role models on student hope and effort. A growing body of literature in behavioural economics indicates that hopefulness is associated with superior academic and athletic performance. Hope can be an instigator of higher goal-setting and effort. A randomised controlled trial (RCT) is conducted to examine the effect of a role-modelling intervention in primary school students aged 9-11 years in Jaipur, India. The experimental treatment comprises of three motivational films that aim to influence the mental models of the participants by exposing them to comparable and relatable protagonists that succeeded in achieving their aspirations through hope and hard work. Student effort is measured directly as an aggregate of two indicators: attendance at a remedial class and third party observations in a substitution class. Accompanying survey instruments and Snyder’s Children’s Hope Scale (CHS) track the psychological effects on hope. The primary objective of the research is to: (i) test if hope is malleable, and (ii) offer a cost-effective and scalable intervention that not only increases children's hope but also translates into higher effort and improved academic performance.
The study has a treatment and placebo intervention:
Treatment group: Three short films are shown to the treatment group kids in the school's computer lab. Each student assigned to the treatment views all three films on a computer screen. The films are fictional and are produced in Jaipur. They document the lives of three relatable role-models that succeed in life because of hope.
Placebo group: The students assigned in this group watch an episode of 'malgudi days - Swami and his friends'. Based in a fictional town of South India, the television show is a famous entertainment program for kids.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Student hope and student effort.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The indicators and instruments used for measuring the key outcome variables are explained in detail in the attached pre-analysis plan.
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Student performance as measured by ASER-style tests and school examination results.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The study entails a simple individual level randomisation performed on Excel.
There are two treatment arms:
Treatment: watches a set of three motivational videos
Placebo: watches an episode of 'malgudi days'
Data is collected in four rounds from baseline to follow-up surveys, details to which are included in the pre-analysis plan.
Experimental Design Details
Ransomisation is performed on Microsoft Excel.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment arm = 325 students watch the set of three motivational videos
Placebo arm = 325 students watch an episode of an entertainment television show - 'malgudi days'
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Minimum detectable effect size = 2% increase in CHS
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
College of Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan Documents
July 16, 2019