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Religious Figures and their Impact on the Religious and Non-Religious: Mturk Survey on the Environment
Last registered on August 06, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Religious Figures and their Impact on the Religious and Non-Religious: Mturk Survey on the Environment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006129
Initial registration date
August 06, 2020
Last updated
August 06, 2020 10:05 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Region
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Southern California
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-08-07
End date
2020-08-15
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Conduct an online survey through Mturk. The objective is to evaluate the ability of religious figures to sway opinions on a topic that may not be explicitly religious in nature (i.e. the environment). I will further attempt to identify heterogeneous *treatment* effects by religiosity.

Participants answer very basic demographic questions and are then randomised into 4 treatment arms. Stratification will be by religiosity as answered in the first section. Participants will be shown a quote from a religious figure with attribution, or without attribution but juxtaposed to different figures. The control group will receive a quote from a religious leader but placed as the opinion of generic world leaders.

Individuals will be paid a lump sum for participating and also entered into a prize draw of $100 (or equivalent in Euros). They will be asked how much of their potential winnings they would like to donate to a national environmental charity. This is the question I hope to elicit preferences from in a non-hypothetical scenario.

The overarching hypothesis this experiment hopes to address is: Do religious figures have an impact on views on non-religious topics, and how does this impact vary by religiosity? A secondary motivation is searching for heterogeneity by religion.

External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Khan, Taraq. 2020. "Religious Figures and their Impact on the Religious and Non-Religious: Mturk Survey on the Environment." AEA RCT Registry. August 06. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6129-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-08-07
Intervention End Date
2020-08-15
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Willingness to donate to an environmental charity.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The answer to the question below:

"You will be entered into a prize draw for $100 (approximately xxx euros). You may
donate some of the winnings to Friends of the Earth U.S. (Europe), a charity
focused on protecting the environment. This will be automatic if you win. How
much would you like to specify for donation?"
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Opinions (no real cost)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Questions, rated 1-10, agree/disagree:
• I agree with the sentiments regarding the environment/climate change above
• I feel climate change is a serious issue
• Climate change will affect me personally
• I feel morally obliged to care about climate change
• I feel my religion compels me to care about climate change

Experimental Design
Experimental Design
I use Mturk to recruit participants and Qualtrics to administer the survey.

Participants answer very basic demographic questions and are then randomised into 4 treatment arms. Stratification will be by religiosity as answered in the first section. Participants will be shown a quote from a religious figure with attribution, or without attribution but juxtaposed to different figures. The control group will receive a quote from a religious leader but placed as the opinion of generic world leaders.

Individuals will be paid a lump sum for participating and also entered into a prize draw of $100 (or equivalent in Euros). They will be asked how much of their potential winnings they would like to donate to a national environmental charity. This is the question I hope to elicit preferences from in a non-hypothetical scenario.
Experimental Design Details
Treatment arms: Control (Generic Leader). — ”Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”Many world leaders have noted such concerns and advocated for pro-environmental policies, including on the monitoring of the environment and climate change. They have highlighted the imperative for humans to act in a way that protects the Earth’s resources. Pope Francis. — Pope Francis (the current pope), in his second encyclical ’on care for our common home’, describes the dangers facing the environment. To quote:”Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental,social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”He further discusses the imperative for humans to act in a way that protects God’s creation. Shia Arm. — ”Climate change is a global problem with grave implications:environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”Iran’s supreme leader has noted such concerns and advocated for pro-environmental policies, including on the monitoring of the environment and climate change. He highlights the imperative for humans to act in a way that protects God’s creation. Pope Benedict. — Pope Benedict (the previous pope), in his letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, describes the dangers facing the environment. To quote:“Preservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to climate change are matters of grave concern for the entire human family.”He further discusses the imperative for humans to act in a way that protects God’s creation.
Randomization Method
By Qualtrics, with stratification on religiosity.
Randomization Unit
Individuals
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
(Up to) 3,000 individuals, conditional on the population of eligible users being large enough.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1000 US, 1000 Italy, 1000 Portugal.
Within each country, 250 per treatment arm.
Regressions to include sample specification that removes "outlier" observations - e.g. those that specify suspect ages and those that take a questionable amount of time to complete the survey.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Southern California Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2020-08-05
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is 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