Using Active Choice Interventions to Promote Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Last registered on April 17, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Using Active Choice Interventions to Promote Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005732
Initial registration date
April 17, 2020
Last updated
April 17, 2020, 12:55 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
The Behaviouralist

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2020-03-26
End date
2020-03-29
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The trial examines whether active choice interventions make people more willing to comply with social distancing policies in the UK and US.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Akesson, Jesper. 2020. "Using Active Choice Interventions to Promote Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic." AEA RCT Registry. April 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5732-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Participants are randomly shown two informational messages about COVID-19. Participants are further randomized into conditions where they also additionally receive an active choice intervention.
Intervention Start Date
2020-03-26
Intervention End Date
2020-03-29

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Participants' willingness to work from home and avoid seeing people in high-risk groups for 7 days, 2 months and 4 months, respectively.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
4,821 participants are recruited and randomly allocated to one of four groups. The groups are all the same size.
Experimental Design Details
The study was conducted between 26-29 March 2020. In total, 4,821 participants, half of which are from the US and half of which are from the UK, took part in the experiment. Participants were recruited via the panel provider Prolific Academic and the survey was run using Qualtrics. Participants are randomly allocated to one of four groups. The groups are all the same size.
Randomization Method
Simple randomization using Qualtrics randomization tool
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1
Sample size: planned number of observations
4,821 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approximately 1,200
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We conducted power calculations for binary versions of our outcomes (coded as 1 if the participants answer 3 or 4, and 0 otherwise). If we pool our two active choice groups, so that our sample size in the treatment group is 2,400, we are able to detect a 4-percentage-point difference with 80% power (assuming a baseline of 0.5).
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
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