Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Anxiety measure is a standard questionnaire commonly used in psychiatry, which we adapted to focus on Today
Support for Donald Trump is measured as the confidence, on a scale from 0 to 10, that the participant will vote for Trump in the 2020 Presidential election
Predictions about how severe COVID-19 will be (total number of deaths in the US, rate of death among younger and older people infected) are elicited before and after information provision. These predictions are incentivized for accuracy.
Willingness to pay for a notification service about when hand sanitizer, N95 masks, pasta, and sunscreen (as a placebo) become available again on Amazon
Our primary measure of willingness to pay uses a log or sinh transform to handle outliers
Demand for information: we promise to show participants a link to an article at the end of the study. The article can be on four subjects: it can provide: (i) cute animal pictures, (ii) information about COVID cases and deaths in the United States, (iii) information about the effect of the Senate CARES bill on health insurance coverage, and (iv) information about wellness and stress-reduction. Participants choose the article they most want to receive.
Data entry: In a first task, participants are given a list of metropolitan areas’ populations. We ask participants to sort the metro area by population from largest to smallest. In a second task, participants are given a list of positive COVID-19 tests in a list of states. We ask participants to sort the states by positive COVID-19 tests, from largest to smallest. For both tasks, we measure accuracy and speed, as well as a combined index. Participants are randomized to complete one of the two data entry tasks.
We study heterogeneous treatment effects by: (i) baseline Trump support, (ii) belief that the government acts on its own private information, and (iii) baseline beliefs about COVID severity. We bucket Trump support into three groups: opposed to Trump, undecided, and supports Trump.