Do people use thoughts and prayers as substitutes or complements to charity donations?

Last registered on September 19, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Do people use thoughts and prayers as substitutes or complements to charity donations?
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004724
Initial registration date
September 18, 2019
Last updated
September 19, 2019, 11:57 AM EDT

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Wyoming

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Wyoming

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2019-09-19
End date
2019-10-04
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In the U.S., major catastrophes are routinely followed by people offering their thoughts and prayers to those in need. It is, however, unknown how people may choose to substitute or complement such gestures with material help. We examine how charity donations to hurricane victims are affected by giving American donors the option to also send their thoughts and prayers. To perform our analysis, we collect experimental data in the wake of a hurricane We compare monetary donations in a baseline treatment where sending thoughts and prayers is not included in the donors’ choice set, to donations in a thoughts and prayer treatment, where donors can choose to complement or substitute monetary donations with thoughts or prayers.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Shogren, Jason and Linda Thunstrom. 2019. "Do people use thoughts and prayers as substitutes or complements to charity donations?." AEA RCT Registry. September 19. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4724-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2019-09-19
Intervention End Date
2019-10-04

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The amount participants choose to donate to hurricane victims, via the Red Cross.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will collect data using Qualtrics panel. We will only recruit religious Christians and atheists/agnostics. Participants will be randomized into one of three treatments -- treatment baseline: they are offered to donate directly; treatment think, in which they are asked to choose to do one of three things: donate, send supporting thoughts to the victims + donate or send supporting thoughts only; treatment pray, in which they are asked to choose to do one of three things: they are offered to donate, send supporting prayers to the victims + donate or send supporting prayers only.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer (in Qualtrics software).
Randomization Unit
Each participant is randomized into one of the three treatments.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
756
Sample size: planned number of observations
756 Specifically: 282 atheists/agnostics 474 religious Christians
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment baseline: 141 atheists/agnostics plus 158 religious Christians
Treatment think: 141 atheists/agnostics plus 158 religious Christians
Treatment pray: 158 religious Christians

Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Wyoming IRB
IRB Approval Date
2019-08-02
IRB Approval Number
N/A

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials