Does the power of a prayer matter to its affect on material aid?
Last registered on January 22, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Does the power of a prayer matter to its affect on material aid?
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005334
Initial registration date
January 21, 2020
Last updated
January 22, 2020 11:10 AM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Wyoming
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-01-28
End date
2020-02-10
Secondary IDs
Abstract
People often respond to others' hardship by praying for them. Previous studies show that such prayers might come at the expense of reduced material aid. In other words, prayers might crowd out associated material aid for those in need. This effect arises because the prayer itself is perceived as directly helpful to the recipient. In this study, we design a randomized controlled trial to examine how the amount of crowding out is affected by the perceived power of the prayer. We do so by varying the type of prayer between collective and private -- a collective prayer is believed to be more efficient than the sum of individually conducted private prayers.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Thunstrom, Linda. 2020. "Does the power of a prayer matter to its affect on material aid?." AEA RCT Registry. January 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5334-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We will randomize participants into one of three treatments: baseline, private prayer and collective prayer. In baseline, they are only given the opportunity to donate money to the victims of the Australian wildfire. In the private prayer treatment, they will be given the opportunity to conduct a private prayer and/or donate, while in the collective prayer treatment, they will be given the opportunity to participate in an actual call for a collective prayer for the Australian wildfire victims, and/or donate.
Intervention Start Date
2020-01-28
Intervention End Date
2020-02-10
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The share of participants that choose to pray across the two prayer treatments, and the amount donated across all three treatments.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We will recruit religious Christians only. They will be randomized into one of three treatments: baseline, private prayer and collective prayer. In the baseline treatment, they are only given the opportunity to donate money to the victims of the Australian wildfire. In the private prayer treatment, they will be given the opportunity to conduct a private prayer and/or donate, while in the collective prayer treatment, they will be given the opportunity to participate in an actual call for a collective prayer for the Australian wildfire victims, and/or donate.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Done by computer software (Qualtrics survey tool).
Randomization Unit
Individual.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
None.
Sample size: planned number of observations
480 religious Christians who reside in the U.S.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
160 participants in each treatment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Institutional Review Board, University of Wyoming
IRB Approval Date
2019-08-02
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