An Experimental Study on Knightian Uncertainty and Social Distancing amid COVID-19

Last registered on July 03, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
An Experimental Study on Knightian Uncertainty and Social Distancing amid COVID-19
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006115
Initial registration date
July 02, 2020
Last updated
July 03, 2020, 8:36 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
NATIONAL TAIWAN UNIVERSITY

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Columbia University
PI Affiliation
Tokyo University of Science

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2020-07-02
End date
2020-07-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The nature of scientific uncertainty is that even the probability distribution is uncertain for someone to make a decision. This situation is called Knightian uncertainty (ambiguity) in economics, and it is widely known that people's behaviors in the presence of Knightian uncertainty have unique features. Under high ambiguity, when players are pessimistic (optimistic, resp.), the players come to think that the infection rate is unlikely (likely, resp.) to be low independently of the amount of social distancing. As a result, higher ambiguity discourage both pessimistic and optimistic players to conduct social distancing. To test the prediction above, we design a survey experiment where respondents are presented statements of scientific knowledge with different degrees of uncertainty.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Kishishita, Daiki, Hans Tung and Charlotte Wang. 2020. " An Experimental Study on Knightian Uncertainty and Social Distancing amid COVID-19 ." AEA RCT Registry. July 03. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6115-1.1
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
different frames of scientific uncertainties
Intervention Start Date
2020-07-02
Intervention End Date
2020-07-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
People's attitudes on social distancing, lockdown-related policies, the government's declaration of the state of emergency, and the arrival of the second COVID-19 outbreak
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Survey (framing) experiment
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done by computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
2000
Sample size: planned number of observations
2000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
500 for each arm (4 arms in total)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Human Research Protection Office, Institutional Review Boards, Columbia University
IRB Approval Date
2020-06-17
IRB Approval Number
IRB-AAAT0545
IRB Name
Research Ethics Committee, National Taiwan University
IRB Approval Date
2020-05-28
IRB Approval Number
202005HS103
Analysis Plan

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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