Targeted Political Advertisement Online - Understanding bipartisan support for restrictions
Last registered on January 15, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Targeted Political Advertisement Online - Understanding bipartisan support for restrictions
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005296
Initial registration date
January 15, 2020
Last updated
January 15, 2020 11:25 AM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Potsdam
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Norwegian School of Economics
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-01-15
End date
2020-05-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Driven by technological innovations, political campaigning has increasingly shifted online. Vast amounts of available data enable microtargeting of campaign messages to small groups of potential voters. This development was met with public suspicion and calls for stricter government control. In this study, we investigate one potential driver of public opposition to online political campaigning. We propose an experiment that links peoples' beliefs about the effects that targeted political advertising has on voters of the opposing party to their demand for stricter government regulation of it. We plan to show that people believe that the opposing party gains more from the use of targeted political advertising than their own party. We furthermore attempt to establish a causal link between peoples' beliefs about the effect of targeted political advertisement and their support for government regulation.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Baum, Katharina and Stefan Meißner. 2020. "Targeted Political Advertisement Online - Understanding bipartisan support for restrictions." AEA RCT Registry. January 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5296-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-01-15
Intervention End Date
2020-01-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Demand for regulation of targeted political online advertisement
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In the experiment, participants are asked to complete an online survey. First, we provide participants with an information page that helps them in understanding some of the key terms in the survey. Participants are then asked to answer a number of questions regarding their beliefs and attitudes towards targeted political online ads. The treatment group will receive information about the effect on targeted political ads on voting turnout. Participants are informed that their answers to one set of questions will be sent as a message to members of the United States congress as incentivation. We inform participants truthfully that we will actually sent this message in aggregated form so that participants remain fully anonymous.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer,
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1600 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
1600 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
800 individuals control, 800 individuals treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
d=0.2, at 95% significance level with 80% power
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Institutional Review Board of the Norwegian School of Economics
IRB Approval Date
2020-01-15
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Analysis Plan

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