The effect of different written appeals on hand disinfection in supermarkets

Last registered on December 22, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

The effect of different written appeals on hand disinfection in supermarkets
Initial registration date
January 22, 2021

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
January 22, 2021, 9:31 AM EST

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

Last updated
December 22, 2021, 3:00 PM EST

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



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
In light of the current Covid-19 crisis, disinfecting one's hands before entering a store became a standard procedure in Switzerland, and stores commonly provide dispensers in the entrance area. So far, only little is known on how to effectively get customers to adopt this relatively new behavior as part of their shopping routine.

In a field experiment, we examine how different written appeals affect the willingness of customers to disinfect their hands prior to / when entering a supermarket.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Jaussi, Stefanie, Anna-Corinna Kulle and Frauke von Bieberstein. 2021. "The effect of different written appeals on hand disinfection in supermarkets." AEA RCT Registry. December 22.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Share of people disinfecting their hands prior to entering a supermarket. We will control for individual observable differences (gender and age group). We will consider all experimental days and make a first day analysis.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We conduct a field experiment with three experimental treatments and a control treatment. In all experimental treatments, a poster is placed next to a hand disinfection station at the entrance of a supermarket. We vary the message on the poster. One is highlighting that hand disinfection is protecting fellow human beings, the other one is highlighting that hand disinfection is protecting oneself, and the third is mentioning both. In the control treatment, there is a hand disinfection station with a poster that merely highlights the hand disinfectant station, but does not convey any other information.

Disinfection behavior of customers entering the store is observed and classified according to gender (male / female) and five age groups (12-29 / 30-44 / 45-59 / 60-75 />75 years old). For the youngest group, we estimate further whether people are younger than 18 (12-17) and if so, we take note whether they are accompanied by an adult or not.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization over four time-sessions throughout the day (ABCD/BCAD/CABD/DCBA-design) on four consecutive days in four supermarkets. The randomization was done at the office by rolling a die.
Randomization Unit
Customers shopping at a specific time of the day (within one of the four observation periods) in one of the four supermarkets.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
In total about 4’800-8’000 participants per treatment
Sample size: planned number of observations
In total approximately 19’000-32’000 participants across the three experimental and the one control condition, depending on how many people visit the four stores on the four observation days.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
In total about 4’800-8’000 participants per treatment, depending on how many people visit the four stores on the four observation days.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Committee University of Bern, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences
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