How do Perceptions of Ability Shape Social Preferences and Reallocation?

Last registered on April 23, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

How do Perceptions of Ability Shape Social Preferences and Reallocation?
Initial registration date
March 12, 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
March 15, 2021, 10:51 AM EDT

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

Last updated
April 23, 2021, 3:04 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of Toronto

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Warwick University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
An individual’s social preferences are influenced by a variety of factors. In this experiment we examine the extent to which perceptions of luck and effort shape social preferences. In particular, we examine the extent to which a high-income shapes social attitudes towards others – especially regarding (re)allocation decisions in the rest of society.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Blouin, Arthur and Daniel Sgroi. 2021. "How do Perceptions of Ability Shape Social Preferences and Reallocation?." AEA RCT Registry. April 23.
Experimental Details


The intervention is receiving a $2 bonus.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We examine whether those who win the bonus, allocate it differently from those who did not.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We plan to implement an online survey cum experiment that does the following.

(i) Selects subjects (on the basis of income) to ask them questions on (a) political leanings, (b) attitudes towards economic policies with a distributional compo-nent (c) relative importance of luck versus ability in achieving success in life.

(ii) After completing the basic survey, most subjects get to participate (as “participants”) in the experiment get an opportunity to become winners and earn a bo-nus $2 reward through one of two ways. First, is that a randomly selected subset of participants is assigned to be rewarded on the basis of successfully solving the Tower Puzzle (i.e. Tower of Hanoi). Alternatively, participants can earn their bonus if they are randomly selected to win a $2 Lottery. However, most participants who did win the bonus, do not know whether this was due to their per-formance in solving the Tower puzzle or due to winning the $2 lottery. All these participants are asked how they would allocate this $2 bonus across winners and losers.

The remaining subjects get to play the role of observers. These subjects are not given the opportunity to earn the bonus, but they get to observe the instructions and tasks undertaken by the participants in the experiment. However, all observ-ers also get to make the allocation decision of dividing the $2 bonus between those who won it and those who did not.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization through randomizer in the Gorilla platform.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
randimization ratio is set to 4:4:1 for winners : losers : observers.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Humanities andSocialSciencesResearchEthicsCommittee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
HSSREC 113/20-21
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