We addressed undergraduate students enrolled in the introductory microeconomics course. For each week of lecture during the semester, the lecturer created pre-lecture contents to facilitate learning at home. Each week, students were given an online quiz that tested their understanding of the contents prior to the lecture. There were 9 quizzes that contributed a total of 10% towards each student’s final grade in the unit. Students were randomly assigned one of the three treatments: piece rate, all-or-nothing, and self-select. At the beginning of the first tutorial session, tutors were given the scripts to read to students. The instructions provided details about the types of incentives.
In Study 2, participants were invited to work on an online survey over four weeks (one in each week). Depending on treatment, the subject would either receive the payment based on the number of survey they complete (piece rate treatment) or would have to complete all surveys to receive the payment (exogenously imposed all-or-nothing treatment). We also allowed the subjects to choose between the piece rate or the all-or-nothing option (the self-select treatment).
Treatments in our subsequent studies (Study 3-6) that are similar to Study 1 and 2 except in some treatments we encourage the participants into choosing the ‘all-or-nothing’ reward mechanism in different ways. As in all the studies, we include both the baseline and the Self-select treatments, we are able to check whether we could replicate the effect of “self-select treatments” in different years and/or in different courses.