Political Identities, Information Demand and Processing (Wave 2)

Last registered on February 01, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Political Identities, Information Demand and Processing (Wave 2)
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007106
Initial registration date
January 29, 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
February 01, 2021, 10:38 AM EST

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Michigan

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Goethe University Frankfurt
PI Affiliation
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
PI Affiliation
Goethe University Frankfurt

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-01-30
End date
2021-02-28
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study constitutes the second wave of our panel study on the role of social identity and ``groupiness'' in the demand for and processing of information using an online experiment with a representative sample of the US population. The first wave was deployed the week before the 2020 US presidential election, where 1,004 participants played a set of games and predicted both the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election and policy-sensitive statistics a year after the election conditional on its outcome. In Wave 2, we will explore the mechanisms behind participants' biased information demand and processing uncovered in Wave 1. Specifically, participants will again play the other-other allocation games as well as a variant of ``guessing which cup is used'', which measures the individual ingroup bias in information demand and processing in a neutral domain. We also administer a short survey to evaluate whether the election outcomes have led to any perceptions of status change among the Democrats and Republicans. In a treatment variation, we test whether informing participants that the quality of information is independent of party labels causes a reduction of ingroup bias in information demand and processing.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Bauer, Kevin et al. 2021. "Political Identities, Information Demand and Processing (Wave 2)." AEA RCT Registry. February 01. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7106
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We employ a between-subject design that varies whether or not a participant sees the proportion of correct guesses of Democrats and Republicans in Wave 1. After submitting their answers, participants in the control condition are not given the correct answers, whereas those in the treatment are given the correct answers.
Intervention Start Date
2021-01-30
Intervention End Date
2021-02-28

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. (Partisanship) Answers to the Political Survey to classify individuals as either Democrat-leaning or Republican-leaning.
2. (Groupiness new) Difference in money allocated to members of different groups, both in the minimal and the political identities allocation tasks.
3. (Strength of social learning) Relative strength of weight put on guesses of others in comparison to weight put on own signals when guessing the right cup.
4. (Partisan bias in processing in a neutral domain) Difference in updating weight attached to guesses from political ingroups and outgroups.
5. (Partisan bias in demand in a neutral domain) Difference in the implied willingness-to-pay for guesses from political ingroups and outgroups.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
(Relative group status) Difference in answers to the status question for Democrats and Republicans.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We study the role of social identity and ``groupiness'' (the individual tendency to display in-group bias in allocation decisions) in the processing of and demand for information using an online experiment with a representative sample of the US population. The first wave of the study was deployed the week before the 2020 US presidential election (AEARCTR-0006670), where 1,004 participants played a set of games and predicted both the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election and policy-sensitive statistics a year after the election conditional on its outcome. The current study constitutes the second wave of our panel study on the role of social identity and ``groupiness'' in the processing of and demand for information. In Wave 2, we will explore the mechanisms behind participants' biased information demand and processing uncovered in Wave 1. Specifically, participants will play the other-other allocation games again, and will be given an opportunity to update their predictions on the same policy-sensitive statistics. Based on a simple version of a social learning experiment we check how subjects update and demand for information when given additional information with and without others' party labels. We also plan to administer a short survey to evaluate whether the election outcomes have led to any perception of status change among the Democrats and Republicans. In a treatment variation, we test whether informing participants that information processing accuracy is independent of party labels causes a reduction of ingroup bias in information demand and processing.
Experimental Design Details
We study the role of social identity and ``groupiness'' (the individual tendency to display in-group bias in allocation decisions) in the processing of and demand for information using an online experiment with a representative sample of the US population. The first wave of the study was deployed the week before the 2020 US presidential election (AEARCTR-0006670), where 1,004 participants played a set of games and predicted both the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election and policy-sensitive statistics a year after the election conditional on its outcome. The current study constitutes the second wave of our panel study on the role of social identity and ``groupiness'' in the processing of and demand for information. In Wave 2, we will explore the mechanisms behind participants' biased information demand and processing uncovered in Wave 1. Specifically, participants will play the other-other allocation games again, and will be given an opportunity to update their predictions on the same policy-sensitive statistics. Based on a simple version of a social learning experiment we check how subjects update and demand for information when given additional information with and without others' party labels. We also plan to administer a short survey to evaluate whether the election outcomes have led to any perception of status change among the Democrats and Republicans. In a treatment variation, we test whether informing participants that information processing accuracy is independent of party labels causes a reduction of ingroup bias in information demand and processing.
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual participant
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1,004 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,004 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
500 participants in control, 504 in treatment condition.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Power calculation was reported in Wave 1 of the data collection (AEARCTR-0006670).
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Goethe University Frankfurt IRB
IRB Approval Date
2020-10-22
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Analysis Plan

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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