Hostility toward breaching restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Last registered on July 14, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Hostility toward breaching restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic
Initial registration date
July 13, 2020

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
July 14, 2020, 10:19 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

Waseda University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Musashi University

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Given the outbreak of Covid-19 most countries have adopted prevention policies that restrict economic and social activities to curb the spread. This has led to increased vigilantism and violence; for instance, Japan reported many cases of stores and firms experiencing harassment for breaching the restrictions during the state of emergency. Accordingly, this study empirically investigates the hostility toward the violation of restriction policy (breaching behavior) by stores in Japan and provides policy suggestions for efficient strategies to reduce the hostility level. We conducted an online randomized experiment of 1,600 individuals in Japan and measured their level of hostility by implementing joy-of-destruction minigames.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Takahashi, Ryo and Kenta Tanaka. 2020. "Hostility toward breaching restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic." AEA RCT Registry. July 14.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The money-burning expenditure for the store that continued to operate during the state of emergency
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The Joy-of-Destruction (JoD) minigame analytically measures antisocial or conflict behavior by estimating a willingness to harm others at an own cost. In this experiment, the participants are initially endowed with 100 Japanese yen, besides the participation allowance of 35 yen. Prior to the JoD experiment, the participants are informed that the research team will donate 500 yen per participant to an anonymous store that is negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The participants must decide whether to reduce (“burn”) the donation amount by 100 yen at a personal cost of 20 yen. Thus, participants can spend all their endowment amount, reducing it to zero. They can also choose to keep 100 yen by choosing not to reduce the donation. The study only considers money-burning expenses from 20 yen to 100 yen by 20 yen intervals (i.e., the money-burning choices are 0, 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 yen).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
4 groups
Sample size: planned number of observations
1600 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
400 individuals for each group (total 4 groups)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Waseda University WINPEC IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials