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Satisfaction and the implicit comparison group
Last registered on December 11, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Satisfaction and the implicit comparison group
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005177
Initial registration date
December 11, 2019
Last updated
December 11, 2019 4:33 PM EST
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
ISER, University of Essex
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Utrecht University
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2010-12-17
End date
2013-11-08
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The RCT tests whether subjective well-being depends on the comparison group people implicitly refer to when they answer questions on satisfaction in different life domains (job, health, household income, leisure and life overall). The RCT prompts some respondents to compare themselves with people of the same gender, education, gender and education, and leaves the reference group of others unconstrained. The RCT is part of the wave 5 of Understanding society Innovation Panel (IP5). The randomization was obtained using random draws from an uniform distribution and was balanced by mode protocol, incentive and the wave 5 web invite experiment of the Understanding Society Innovation Panel. The planned sample size is around 580 individuals per treatment arm.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Fumagalli, Elena and Laura Fumagalli . 2019. "Satisfaction and the implicit comparison group ." AEA RCT Registry. December 11. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5177-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2012-05-11
Intervention End Date
2012-08-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Satisfaction about job, health, household income, leisure and life overall
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The experiment studies whether subjective well-being depends on the comparison people implicitly refer to when they answer questions on satisfaction in different life domains (job, health, household income, leisure and life overall).

The sample is randomly divided in 4 groups. Each group is asked a different version of satisfaction question.
1) Control group: “How dissatisfied or satisfied are you with [life domain?]”
2) Treatment 1: “How dissatisfied or satisfied are you with [life domain?] if you compare yourself with other women/men”
3) Treatment 2; “How dissatisfied or satisfied are you with [life domain?] if you compare yourself with other people with your level of education”
4) Treatment 3: “How dissatisfied or satisfied are you with [life domain?] if you compare yourself with other women/men with your level of education”

The effect of treatment 1 will be analized in a short paper with a gender angle. The effects of treatments 2 and 3 will be analized in a second, separate paper.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The randomization was done in a office by a computer using the statistical software Stata. The randomization was obtained using random draws from an uniform distribution and was balanced by mode protocol, incentive and the wave 5 web invite experiment of the Understanding Society Innovation Panel.
Randomization Unit
Households
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Households: 1615
Sample size: planned number of observations
Number of sampled observations: Number of adult individuals (16 years old or older) in the household * number of sampled households = 1.8*1615=2907. Assuming 20% unit non response: Planned number of responding individuals = 2325
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Around 580 individuals per treatment arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Essex Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2010-12-17
IRB Approval Number
N/A
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