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Descriptive vs injunctive norms
Last registered on November 27, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Descriptive vs injunctive norms
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005070
Initial registration date
November 21, 2019
Last updated
November 27, 2019 7:15 AM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Cologne
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
WWU Münster
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2019-11-21
End date
2019-12-06
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In a laboratory experiment, we test the effect of (different types of) norms (injunctive or descriptive) on behavior of decision makers and potential punishers in a take-frame-laboratory-dictator-game experiment. First, the dictators (or workers) take part in a real-effort task that generates 6 € for a charitable organization. Afterwards, the dictators can choose how much of the 6 € they want to take for themselves as wage. Then, the punishers can choose to costly punish the behavior of the dictators.

We manipulate the corresponding (injunctive or descriptive) norm regarding appropriate/usual behavior of dictators by making use of the scale manipulation technique that provides subtle information regarding the perceived actual norm and is particularly effective in presence of uncertainty.

To manipulate norm beliefs, we make decision makers and punishers submit their belief regarding the (injunctive and descriptive) norm regarding behavior. Importantly, they do so either on a scale that implies a pro-social norm (taking little) and/or an egoism norm (taking much).
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Breuer, Kevin and Christoph Feldhaus. 2019. "Descriptive vs injunctive norms." AEA RCT Registry. November 27. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5070-1.1.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2019-11-21
Intervention End Date
2019-12-06
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Money taken away as wage from the charity (dictator/worker).

Punishment points invested using strategy method (punisher).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In a laboratory experiment, we test the effect of (different types of) norms (injunctive or descriptive) on behavior of decision makers and potential punishers in a take-frame-laboratory-dictator-game experiment. First, the dictators (or workers) take part in a real-effort task that generates 6 € for a charitable organization. Afterwards, the dictators can choose how much of the 6 € they want to take for themselves as wage. Then, the punishers can choose to costly punish the behavior of the dictators.

We manipulate the corresponding (injunctive or descriptive) norm regarding appropriate/usual behavior of dictators by making use of the scale manipulation technique that provides subtle information regarding the perceived actual norm and is particularly effective in presence of uncertainty.

To manipulate norm beliefs, we make decision makers and punishers submit their belief regarding the (injunctive and descriptive) norm regarding behavior. Importantly, they do so either on a scale that implies a pro-social norm (taking little) and/or an egoism norm (taking much).

Experimental Design Details
Parameters Both types of players receive 4 € as show-up fee. In addition, dictators receive another 3 €. Dictators can take up to 6 € away from the charity. Punisher receive an endowment 6 €, plus an additional 3 € as a punishment budget. For each possible choice of the dictator, the punisher can assign up to 6 punishment points to the dictator. Each punishment point takes away 1 € from the dictator and 0.5 € from the punisher. Unused punishment budget remains with the punisher. Manipulations – summary: 2x2 factorial design Exogenous shift in injunctive norms via scale variation: Pro-social norm (low taking) or egoism norm (high taking) Exogenous shift in descriptive norms via scale variation: Pro-social norm (low taking) or egoism norm (high taking) __________________________________________________________________________________ As a pilot session on 21.11.2019 turned out to produce many corner choices such that the dictators took mostly all the money, we decided to adjust the design and the parameterization for a second pilot on 26.11.2019. Here we, (1) drop the real effort task where the dictator produces the payment for the charity. (2) make the charity more salient by providing an information leaflet. (3) Adjust parameters We introduce ECU with 1 ECU = 0.10 € NEW Endowments Dictator = 20 ECU, Punisher = 20 ECU + 20 ECU as punishment budget, Charity = 60 ECU Dictator chooses between taking 5, 10, ..., 55, 60 ECU away from the charity. (4) Increase the efficiency of punishment and the ability to punish at low costs Each punishment point that costs 1 ECU for the punisher reduces payments of the dictator by 3 ECU. Up to 20 punishment points can be invested.
Randomization Method
Lottery
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clusters.
Sample size: planned number of observations
We sample 80 observations per treatment and role (dictator/punisher) in a laboratory experiment. Note: We kick-off data collection with a pilot on the 21st of November 2019. We might stop the data collection if the parametrization of the design turns out to be inadequate.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The sample is equally allocated.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Ethics Committee, Department of Economics, University of Cologne
IRB Approval Date
2019-10-10
IRB Approval Number
19025KB
Analysis Plan

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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, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS