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Recalling Stories of Success: Will Present or Extreme Successes Motivate the Most?
Last registered on May 19, 2020


Trial Information
General Information
Recalling Stories of Success: Will Present or Extreme Successes Motivate the Most?
Initial registration date
May 19, 2020
Last updated
May 19, 2020 2:01 PM EDT
Primary Investigator
University of Copenhagen, Department of Political Science
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Research indicates that recalling previous successes cause an increase in motivation and job satisfaction. However, little is known about the specific character of these successes. Drawing on different streams of theories from the field of motivation research, the study examines how recalling different types of success stories from one's work life can affect one's job satisfaction and turnover intention.

The study is designed as a randomized survey experiment using different vignettes asking the respondents to recall different types of success stories. The respondents comprise a sample of Danish case workers.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Hansen, Paw. 2020. "Recalling Stories of Success: Will Present or Extreme Successes Motivate the Most?." AEA RCT Registry. May 19. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5836-1.0.
Experimental Details
The intervention consists of different types of micro-interventions in an online survey. Respondents are asked to recollect different types of success stories from their work life.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The study operates with to primary outcomes: 1) Job satisfaction and 2) Turnover intention
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
1) Job satisfaction is measured with a single question asking how satisfied respondents are with their job overall
2) Turnover intention is measured as an index constructed based on responses to three survey items: (a) If it was up to me, I would be working a the same place a year from now (b) I often think about quitting this organization and (c) I intend to search for a position with another employer in the next year.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The study involves a five-armed, parallel-design, individually randomized trial - in the form of a split ballot survey experiment. The experiment is carried out among a nonprobability sample of Danish caseworkers. Respondents are exposed to either one of four tasks of recalling a specific type of success story - or not asked to recall a success story but simply asked about job satisfaction and turnover intention and thus serves as a control.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization is carried out by simple randomization by computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual survey respondent.
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
400 individual respondents.
Sample size: planned number of observations
400 individual respondents.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
80 individual respondents in each arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Under the assumption of 400 valid responses and balanced groups, the study is powered to enable detecting of effects of f > .197 with high statistical power (Power = .90; alpha = .05, two-tailed).
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)