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The Role of Introspection in the Generation of Soft Skills
Last registered on June 02, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Role of Introspection in the Generation of Soft Skills
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005936
Initial registration date
June 02, 2020
Last updated
June 02, 2020 2:28 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Universidad del Pacifico
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Universidad del Pacifico
PI Affiliation
Universidad del Pacifico
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-05-15
End date
2020-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Increasing evidence shows that soft skills play a key role in labor market outcomes, but there is no consensus on how to foster these skills. Several interventions are implemented through workshops and training, at relatively high cost. Eskreis-Winkler et al. (2019) show that advice-giving can trigger a process of introspection, which can improve study habits and improve test scores.

We explore the role of introspection, which allows participants to process information they have already acquired, on the formation of soft skills. To do so, we will conduct a randomized controlled trial in a debate competition in Peru, where prior to the contest half of the participants were asked to write down advice to participants in future versions of the contest. These participants were reminded of their own advice four days before the contest. We examine treatment effects on the participants scores in the debate competition, as well as on satisfaction with the event and with their own performance. To unveil the mechanisms behind these effects we analyze treatment effects on preparation time and type of preparation activities performed.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Barron, Manuel, Gabriela Charca and Alysson Laurentz. 2020. "The Role of Introspection in the Generation of Soft Skills." AEA RCT Registry. June 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5936-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention consists in promoting introspection. Two weeks before a MUN competition we ask participants to write down advice for participants in future versions of the contest on how to prepare for the competition. Participants are reminded of their own advice a few days before the competition.
Intervention Start Date
2020-05-15
Intervention End Date
2020-06-13
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The main outcome is performance in the competition.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We will measure performance in the position paper and speaking. The position paper has four dimensions: writing, structure and coherence, content, and proposal. Speaking has four dimensions: appeal, content, structure, and persuasion. We will aggregate them as is done in the contest and with principal component analysis.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Time used to prepare, satisfaction with own performance, expected outcome, submission date and time. Analysis of the content of the advice.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
After the contest, but before the results are posted we will conduct a short survey to gauge satisfaction with own performance (Likert scale), expectation about the result in the contest (expected scores and expected ranking), time allocated to prepare, time of submission.
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
All contest participants are invited to participate in the research project. They are aware that their participation in the project has no impact on their scores, as judges are not aware of who participates in the project and who does not. Half of the study participants are selected for the treatment group, and half to the control group. Participants in the treatment group are asked to write down three pieces of advice they would give to a prospective participant for a future version of the contest on how to perform well in the competition. Each participant in the treatment group is reminded of his/her own advice four days before the competition deadline.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization was done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
The participant.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
120 participants
Sample size: planned number of observations
120 participants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
60 participants control, 60 participants treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number