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Diversity and Peer Effects
Initial registration date
October 05, 2019
October 07, 2019 10:46 AM EDT
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Other Primary Investigator(s)
London School of Economics
Additional Trial Information
We study the role of social interactions in shaping the evolution of political values and attitudes. Social interactions --- especially through the public expression of political values and attitudes --- interact with social image considerations, affecting not only belief updating about the social environment, but also information sharing within groups. This could generate multiple equilibria for the social group, depending on prior beliefs about the social environment and the nature of early interactions. To study this question, we combine a panel survey with a field experiment at a major US university. Our results are relevant to a wide range of settings in which social norms shape social learning.
Intervention 1: We collaborate with the course instructor to assign students to study groups that vary in composition. In order to incentivize students to study together, we provide study groups with a stipend to purchase food and beverages at their meetings.
Intervention 2: We vary whether students are told about the private beliefs of their fellow study group members.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Survey measures of public and private beliefs
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We assess the effects of our intervention (described above) on a range of social outcomes, as measured through surveys.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization is done in office via an R script (with a specified seed for reproducibility).
Students randomized into study groups; study groups randomized into a misperceptions correction treatment.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Up to 100 groups
Sample size: planned number of observations
Up to 500 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We anticipate around 100 groups and 400-500 study participants.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Approximately 0.34 standard deviations
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
University of Chicago Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number