Eliciting lifestyle and personality traits that may correlate with time preferences

Last registered on December 03, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Eliciting lifestyle and personality traits that may correlate with time preferences
Initial registration date
November 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
December 03, 2020, 9:44 AM EST

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



Primary Investigator

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Cornell University
PI Affiliation
Cornell University

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The goal of this study is to validate a new method for eliciting individual time preferences presented in an earlier study (AEARCTR-0005115). In theory, the method we proposed (“Multiple Lottery Lists”) is robust to variation in background consumption that may arise over time, while other methods are not. In this study, we will test whether the estimated time preferences parameters correlate with behaviors that are inter-temporal in nature such as saving and health-related behaviors, and with personality characteristics. To do this, we will collect additional data on the same samples as in the first study.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Belot, Michele , Philipp Kircher and Paul Muller. 2020. "Eliciting lifestyle and personality traits that may correlate with time preferences." AEA RCT Registry. December 03. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6805
Experimental Details


This study collects additional information for participants in an earlier randomized study (AEARCTR-0005115). The collected information will be used to validate two measures of time preferences collected in the earlier study.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We will test for correlation between behaviors/personality characteristics and earlier collected time preferences.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We will construct indices from sets of questions that concern the same topic. These indices correlated with time preferences elicited under stable income/consumption. For those indices that correlate significantly, we check whether they correlate with either elicitation method applied under varying background consumption/income. See the pre-analysis plan for details.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The sample contains second year students at the School of Business and Economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. A share of these students has participated in a time-preference elicitation study in 2019/2020 (AEARCTR-0005115), in which we used two methods to elicit time preferences. All participants will answer a range of questions regarding lifestyle (smoking, alcohol/drugs consumption, financial savings, study behavior) and personality related questions (patience, impulsiveness, conscientiousness). These questions are not incentivized, but all students are required to participate in the survey as part of their study curriculum. The survey is completed online.

Using the responses we will construct various summary indices of behaviors and personality characteristics that are expected to correlate with time preferences. By linking these to the two distinct individual-level estimates of time preferences from the earlier study, we investigate (1) which indices correlate most strongly with time preference parameters and (2) whether they correlate more strongly with estimated preferences from our newly proposed elicitation method in case of substantial shocks to background income.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Since the study only entails a survey, there is no treatment. However, there is an exogenous variation in the circumstances faced by different participants in the first study. The first study was conducted on two separate samples of students. The first sample (“Wave 1”) was surveyed under substantial expected change in income or expenses (before Christmas). The second sample (“Wave 2”) was surveyed in “normal times”, i.e. under more stable times in terms of income or expenses. The distinction between these two samples will be an important component of the validation strategy of our method (see details below).
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
200 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
200 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Research Ethical Review Board SBE (VU University Amsterdam)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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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