The American Economic Association's registry for randomized controlled trials
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A study of feedback aversion
Last registered on June 11, 2020
View Trial History
A study of feedback aversion
Initial registration date
June 10, 2020
June 11, 2020 8:54 AM EDT
United States of America
Contact Primary Investigator
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Katherine B. Coffman
Additional Trial Information
This project examines individuals' preferences for receiving feedback on their performance on a male-typed aptitude test. We will explore how preferences for feedback depend on beliefs of absolute and relative performance, degree of uncertainty about own performance, level of difficulty of the task, and gender. We will also elicit unincentivized data on how individuals interpret and generalize both positive and negative feedback.
Coffman, Katherine B. and David Klinowski. 2020. "A study of feedback aversion." AEA RCT Registry. June 11.
Sponsors & Partners
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Main outcome measures: incentivized measure of preference for receiving information on absolute and relative performance on the test, derived from three questions (negative real effort price for information, no price, positive real effort price for information); and, unincentivized stated preference for receiving information about performance. Secondary outcome measures: performance on the test, believed absolute and relative performance on the test, degree of uncertainty about performance, unincentivized self-reported interpretation and generalizability of hypothetical feedback.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
This is an online study conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk (expected 1-day study). Participants first complete an aptitude test. They then report their incentivized beliefs about their own absolute and relative performance on the test. They also report their degree of uncertainty about these beliefs. Then, participants are asked how interested they are in receiving feedback about their own absolute and relative performance (unincentivized slider scale). Then, they answer 3 incentivized questions that elicit their preferences for feedback using prices in terms of a real-effort task. We then collect demographic information and data on how participants would hypothetically perceive, interpret, and generalize feedback.
Experimental Design Details
We randomize the difficulty of the test (either relatively easy or hard). Randomization done by the computer.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
500 individuals in the easy condition, 500 individuals in the hard condition.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Harvard Business School
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Is public data available?
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS