Understanding Mechanisms Underlying the Relationship between Witchcraft and Prosocial Behavior
Last registered on October 22, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Understanding Mechanisms Underlying the Relationship between Witchcraft and Prosocial Behavior
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004878
Initial registration date
October 19, 2019
Last updated
October 22, 2019 11:22 AM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Stanford University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2019-07-22
End date
2019-11-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We describe the analysis plan for analysis of survey data, which is aimed at probing mechanisms as a followup to findings from a previous study that examines the relationship between prosocial behavior and others’ beliefs in witchcraft in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Lowes and Nunn, 2018). As with the first study, participants will be individuals living in Gemena, a city in Sud-Ubangi province which is in northern DRC. Participants will complete a series of incentivized questions asking about how socially appro- priate most people in Gemena will view various actions in three experimental games that involve another player. For each hypothetical game, the other player is anonymous, but participants are given some information about them. They are informed of the other player’s age, sex, educational level, if from the same ethnic group, strength of belief in the Christian God, strength of belief in witchcraft, and whether the individual is from Gemena. The primary experimental treatment is that the other player is randomly assigned to have either a strong or weak belief in witchcraft. We outline the study design, the treatments, and the econometric strategy for the analysis.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Lowes, Sara. 2019. "Understanding Mechanisms Underlying the Relationship between Witchcraft and Prosocial Behavior." AEA RCT Registry. October 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4878-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2019-10-22
Intervention End Date
2019-11-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcome variables are how appropriate the various possible actions are that a hypothetical decision maker can make in the dictator game, choose your dictator game, and joy of destruction game.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The norms measurement strategy follows Krupka and Weber (2013). Individuals will be given information on how three experimental tasks are played. These tasks are a dictator game (DG), a choose your dictator game (CYD), and a joy of destruction game (JOD). The details of these experiments will be discussed shortly. These are the same experiments that participants completed in 2018.
After reviewing each experimental task, the participant will be asked to imagine that there is a hypothetical decision maker who is completing the experimental task. They participant will be given information on the identity of the person that the decision maker in the task has been paired with. For each possible choice that the decision maker in the task could make, the participant will be asked: “Is this choice very socially inappropriate, somewhat socially inappropriate, somewhat socially appropriate, very socially appropriate?.” Individuals are not given the exact identity of the player that the decision maker is paired with in the experimental tasks. However, they are given the following information about the other player: age group, sex, education level, ethnicity, strength of belief in the Christian God, strength of belief in witchcraft, and whether they grew up in Gemena. The primary experimental manipulation is the reported belief in witchcraft of the other player. Participants complete two iterations of the set of questions about each experimental activity. The assignment of player characteristics is stratified so that in one of the two iterations (randomly chosen), the participant answers questions about a decision maker who is paired with someone with either a ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ belief in witchcraft and in the other, the participant answers questions about a decision maker who is paired with someone with a ‘weak or very weak’ or ‘neither believe or disbelieve’ belief in witchcraft.
Experimental Design Details
The norms measurement strategy follows Krupka and Weber (2013). Individuals will be given information on how three experimental tasks are played. These tasks are a dictator game (DG), a choose your dictator game (CYD), and a joy of destruction game (JOD). The details of these experiments will be discussed shortly. These are the same experiments that participants completed in 2018. After reviewing each experimental task, the participant will be asked to imagine that there is a hypothetical decision maker who is completing the experimental task. They participant will be given information on the identity of the person that the decision maker in the task has been paired with. For each possible choice that the decision maker in the task could make, the participant will be asked: “Is this choice very socially inappropriate, somewhat socially inappropriate, somewhat socially appropriate, very socially appropriate?.” Earlier in the survey the following definition is given of socially appropriate: “After I describe the situation and decision made by the person, I would like you to evaluate the decision and decide whether the action is ‘socially appropriate’ and ‘consistent with moral or proper social behavior’ or ‘socially inappropriate’ and ‘in- consistent with moral or proper social behavior’. By socially appropriate, I mean behavior that most people in Gemena agree is the ‘correct’ or ‘ethical’ thing to do.” Individuals are not given the exact identity of the player that the decision maker is paired with in the experimental tasks. However, they are given the following information about the other player: age group, sex, education level, ethnicity, strength of belief in the Christian God, strength of belief in witchcraft, and whether they grew up in Gemena. The various characteristics take the following values: 1. Age group: (a) young; (b) old. 2. Sex: (a) male; (b) female. 3. Education level: (a) has not completed primary school; (b) has completed primary school; (c) has completed secondary school or higher. 4. Ethnicity: (a) same ethnic group; (b) a different ethnic group. 5. Strength of belief in Christian God: (a) strong belief in the Christian God (b) very strong belief in the Christian God. 6. Strength of belief in witchcraft: (a) weak or very weak, (b) neither strong nor weak, (c) strong, or (d) very strong. 7. Grew up in Gemena: (a) grew up in Gemena (b) did not grow up in Gemena. The primary experimental manipulation is the reported belief in witchcraft of the other player. Participants complete two iterations of the set of questions about each experimental activity. The assignment of player characteristics is stratified so that in one of the two iterations (randomly chosen), the participant answers questions about a decision maker who is paired with someone with either a ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ belief in witchcraft and in the other, the participant answers questions about a decision maker who is paired with someone with a ‘weak or very weak’ or ‘neither believe or disbelieve’ belief in witchcraft. For the other reported characteristics of the other player, they are randomly assigned with equal probability (e.g. half the time the other player is old, half the time the other player is young; a third of the time the other player had not completed primary etc.). Each participant will respond to questions regarding the socially appropriate thing to do in three different experimental games: the Dictator Game (DG), Choose Your Dictator Game (CYD), and Joy of Destruction Game (JOD). The respondent will answer questions about socially appropriate behavior for each game two times; each time, the identity of the other player that the hypothetical decision maker has been paired with will vary. To encourage individuals to consider their answers carefully, the responses are incentivized. If all of the responses about the appropriateness of each choice are the same as the most common response in all of Gemena for the situation, then the respondent receives an extra CF 5,000.
Randomization Method
The primary experimental manipulation is whether an individual is answering questions about someone with a strong or weak belief in witchcraft. The survey will be implemented on a tablet. The tablet will randomly assign the characteristics of the individual about whom the respondent answers the question. An respondent answers the questions for two different individuals: one with a strong belief in witchcraft and one with a weak belief in witchcraft.
Randomization Unit
Randomization is done at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
We aim to follow up with our sample from 2018, which had 520 individuals.
Sample size: planned number of observations
We aim to follow up with our sample from 2018, which had 520 individuals.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Each individual is treated in the sense that they answer questions about how appropriate actions are in each game two times: one time when the other player has a strong belief in witchcraft and one time when the other player has a weak belief in witchcraft. We aim to follow up with our sample from 2018, which had 520 individuals.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Harvard University
IRB Approval Date
2015-06-10
IRB Approval Number
24087
Analysis Plan

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
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