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Is it the Message or the Messenger? Examining Bias in Immigration Beliefs
Last registered on October 15, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Is it the Message or the Messenger? Examining Bias in Immigration Beliefs
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006552
Initial registration date
October 14, 2020
Last updated
October 15, 2020 12:34 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Toronto
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Columbia University
PI Affiliation
UCLA
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-10-16
End date
2021-11-06
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We study the influence of presidential rhetoric about immigration on belief formation, and separately consider message content versus the source of a statement. Our primary research question for the study is: Does a partisan source influence an individual’s political views, holding the content of a message fixed?
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Afrouzi, Hassan , Carolina Arteaga and Emily Weisburst. 2020. "Is it the Message or the Messenger? Examining Bias in Immigration Beliefs." AEA RCT Registry. October 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6552-1.0.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-10-16
Intervention End Date
2020-11-06
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Immigrant attitude index
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Immigrant attitude index which is calculated as an average of responses to post-intervention questions in the survey. Each question will be standardized before it is included in this average.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Anti-immigrant perception of the audio-clip; Perception of the source of the audio clip; Charity donation; Overall view of immigrants; Whether Immigration Should be Increased; Voting Plans for 2020 Presidential Election. Additionally, we will investigate sub-indices of the primary index by topic type: Overall Immigrant Views; Dreamers; Undocumented Immigrants; Immigration Enforcement; and Immigration and Crime.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Anti-immigrant perception of the audio-clip: In your opinion, how anti-immigrant was the audio segment you just heard? (0-100 scale)
Perception of the source of the audio clip: Which president do you think made the speech you just heard? and How likely do you think it is that President (Trump/Obama) made the speech you just heard? (0-100)
Charity Donation: Choice to donate part of a potential lottery prize (total $25) to a pro-immigrant charity (American Civil Liberties Union - ACLU) vs. an anti-immigrant charity (Federation for American Immigration Reform - FAIR)
Overall View of Immigrants: Overall, in your opinion, how positive or negative is the contribution of immigrants to the United States? (-100 to 100 scale)
Whether Immigration Should be Increased: In your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased or decreased?
Voting Plans for 2020 Presidential Election: At this point in time, which candidate will you most likely support for the next presidential election?
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
All participants will hear a weather forecast audio clip (control condition). Our experiment will then randomly expose participants to one of ten audio segments as well as an additional control condition of no additional audio clip (beyond weather clip baseline). Randomization will be stratified by political party affiliation.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
We will use the randomization feature in qualtrics.
Randomization Unit
Randomize at the party affiliation level (Democrat (liberal) vs. Republican (conservative).
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
2 political parties: 10 treatment arms and 1 control group within each party.
Sample size: planned number of observations
13,530 target (14,040 recruited)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
615 per treatment arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We will be able to detect effects of size 0.125 of the Anti Immigration standardize index, which corresponds to 11% of the difference between republicans and democrats. SE 0.063991.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Columbia University
IRB Approval Date
2020-09-23
IRB Approval Number
AAAT1883
IRB Name
University of California, Los Angeles
IRB Approval Date
2020-07-22
IRB Approval Number
IRB#19-001127
IRB Name
University of Toronto
IRB Approval Date
2019-10-09
IRB Approval Number
38128
Analysis Plan

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