Structural Analysis of Xenophobia

Last registered on April 04, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Structural Analysis of Xenophobia
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006365
Initial registration date
August 26, 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
August 26, 2020, 11:47 AM EDT

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

Last updated
April 04, 2021, 9:20 PM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Johns Hopkins University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Johns Hopkins University

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-03-23
End date
2021-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This is a registry for our pilot survey. We will estimate a structural model of anti-Chinese xenophobia using an exogenous variation from an information randomized controlled trial. The structural model explains anti-Chinese xenophobia using two motivations, intrinsic and reputational. Intrinsic motivation is captured by a measure which we call “anti-Chinese animus”. It is measured by self-reports in multiple questions. To defend these measures from potential social desirability bias, we ask List randomization questions. Reputational motivation is captured by people’s concern about other people's perception of their anti-Chinese animus if their behaviors are publicly observable.

The intrinsic and reputational motivations will jointly determine people’s xenophobic actions against Chinese. To measure xenophobic behaviors, we will use three outcome measures: a petition, a dictator game, and a donation question. The dictator game is an incentivized survey item with real money at stake, and the other two questions ask about intentions to donate and to sign a petition.

To achieve this purpose, we have an information RCT. We will randomly choose half of the respondents and show them an animation that describes rising anti-Chinese sentiment in the US, the control group will not see the animation. The animation aims to shift respondents’ perception of the acceptability of xenophobic behaviors against Chinese, which can potentially change the reputational motivation.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Deng, Huan and Yujung Hwang. 2021. "Structural Analysis of Xenophobia." AEA RCT Registry. April 04. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6365
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Our intervention is an information provision. The treatment group will see one animation about rising anti-Chinese sentiment in the US. The control group will not see the animation.

Besides, we ask List randomization questions to assess potential social desirability bias in anti-Chinese sentiment and perception about racial animus against Chinese in the U.S.
Intervention Start Date
2021-03-23
Intervention End Date
2021-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We have three primary sets of outcome variables.
The first set of outcome variables is about anti-Chinese animus. The second set of outcome variables is about the perception about anti-Chinese xenophobia in the US. The third set of outcome variables is three measurements of xenophobic behaviors.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We collect multiple measurements for each set of outcome variables, not to cherry-pick the most responsive survey items later, but to apply nonparametric estimation techniques to estimate measurement errors. Having multiple measurements is one of the essential identifying assumptions.
The first set of outcome variables on anti-Chinese animus is a shorter version of the realistic threat measure, intergroup anxiety, and prejudice measures used in Stephan et al. (1999).
The second set of outcome variables on perception about racism in the US is measured by asking how much respondents agree to seven statements. The statements are:
(1) Even though someone publicly says he/she dislikes Chinese immigrants, the person can still maintain good social relationships with most people.
(2) Expressing hatred against Chinese immigrants harms one's social reputation.
(3) People will appreciate it if someone spits out loud Chinese immigrants bring no good to the US.
(4) People will criticize if someone refers to the novel coronavirus as "China virus."
(5) It is not shameful to publicly support to reduce the number of Chinese immigrants because they threaten our prosperity.
(6) It is not socially acceptable to make a public statement that the US government should restrict the rights of Chinese immigrants.
(7) It is socially acceptable to petition to deport Chinese immigrants if they have any Chinese government connections.

The third set of outcome variables is xenophobic actions. We will ask three questions: a petition question, a dictator game, and a donation question. The dictator game is an incentivized survey item with real money at stake, and the other two questions ask about intentions to donate and to sign a petition.

In the petition question, we present two different petition forms, with one urging to protect the United States’ interests from Chinese threats and another urging to protect the safety and rights of Chinese immigrants in the US. We ask which petition survey participants would like to sign. If they choose to sign a petition to protect the US from Chinese threats, the racist action is coded as 1.

In a dictator game, we randomly match respondents with two other survey panelists, who are nearly identical except that one of them has a name that sounds like a Chinese name and a photo that looks like an East Asian. Next, we ask respondents to split $1 between themselves and their matched partners. To remove deception, we will randomly select 10% of the survey sample and will make actual payment to survey participants based on responses. We will explain that their answers will not affect the probability of winning the lottery. We repeat dictator games twice with two different partners to remove individual fixed effects, which include generosity in sharing money with someone else. We randomize the order of two dictator games to remove any order effect. If survey respondents share more money with a partner who has a Chinese name, the racist action is coded as 1.
In a donation question, we present descriptions about two organizations with opposing attitudes towards Chinese in the U.S. Next, we ask which organization respondents are willing to donate if they are given $1. If they choose to donate to the one who has a hostile attitude towards the Chinese in the U.S., the racist action is coded as 1.


We will also ask the respondents to provide their Twitter username information to construct a measure for xenophobic behavior in real life. We will do text-analysis of the tweets to identify those who posted any xenophobic tweets during the Pandemic. We will see if the measure from Twitter is correlated with other survey measures for xenophobic behavior to argue the validity of our survey measures.

Reference
Stephan, Walter G., Oscar Ybarra, and Guy Bachman. "Prejudice toward immigrants 1." Journal of Applied Social Psychology 29.11 (1999): 2221-2237.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
To improve the quality of our survey, we will insert a soft commitment question at the beginning of the survey as well as two attention check questions at important locations.

The soft commitment question will appear right after the consent form prompting the respondents to pay attention. We will tell the respondents that they can contribute to scientific research and social welfare by providing accurate and honest responses. And they need to choose “Yes, I agree to do so” to proceed.


To further guarantee the quality of our survey, we use two attention check questions to screen out survey participants who pay little attention to the survey. The first attention check question will appear right before the RCT, while the second one will appear right before questions to measure xenophobic actions. In the first attention check question, we ask respondents how they are currently feeling, but we tell them to check only the “None of the above” option in the middle of the question. Survey participants who fail to pay attention to our message and choose any other choices will be screened out. The second attention check question uses the same trick except that we ask the respondents which device they are using to participate in the survey. We ask them to check “Other” as a correct answer.


To remove any order effect, we randomize the order of multiple choices when we measure racist actions.
Experimental Design Details
To improve the quality of our survey, we will insert a soft commitment question at the beginning of the survey as well as two attention check questions at important locations.

The soft commitment question will appear right after the consent form prompting the respondents to pay attention. We will tell the respondents that they can contribute to scientific research and social welfare by providing accurate and honest responses. And they need to choose “Yes, I agree to do so” to proceed.


To further guarantee the quality of our survey, we use two attention check questions to screen out survey participants who pay little attention to the survey. The first attention check question will appear right before the RCT, while the second one will appear right before questions to measure xenophobic actions. In the first attention check question, we ask respondents how they are currently feeling, but we tell them to check only the “None of the above” option in the middle of the question. Survey participants who fail to pay attention to our message and choose any other choices will be screened out. The second attention check question uses the same trick except that we ask the respondents which device they are using to participate in the survey. We ask them to check “Other” as a correct answer.


To remove any order effect, we randomize the order of multiple choices when we measure racist actions.
Randomization Method
We randomize using a Qualtrics randomizer.
Randomization Unit
We do individual level randomization.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
100 in the pilot survey and 3000 in the main survey.
Sample size: planned number of observations
100 in the pilot survey and 3000 in the main survey.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50% of the sample is in the treatment arm and 50% of the sample is in the control arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We will compute MDE using the pilot data, which is yet to be collected.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Homewood Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2021-03-15
IRB Approval Number
HIRB00011674

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