This experiment will be conducted in the form of a representative survey in Germany. Before conducting a representative survey, we will also conduct a pilot project with about 120 participants drawn from a local adult convenience sample to test the participants' understanding and time requirements. The experiment (including the pilot) qualifies as an artefactual field experiment that will be conducted remotely and asynchronously.
After reading instructions and answering comprehension questions, respondents are exposed to some historical temperatures. With these information at hand, they decide at which probability of winning they prefer a risky lottery to a bet on temperature outcomes nine days in the future. Following Baillon et al. (2018), respondents make this decision for six different bets. Importantly, these six decisions are made before respondents are exposed to any treatment meaning that the provided information does not differ between respondents at this stage.
Before subjects make the same set of decisions once more, they are provided with a weather forecast, that we exogenously manipulate in a 2x3 between-subject design. More precisely, we provide the respondents with forecasts that differ with respect to its communication strategy as well as its momentum of surprise: The forecast contains either a point estimator, an asymmetric interval estimator, or both. In addition, we vary the forecasts moment of surprise as one set of forecasts is in line with the historical weather data, while the other set is not. The six treatments are randomly assigned at the individual level.
Respondents are then required to complete a short questionnaire to collect data on possible control variables. Questions include demographic variables (age, gender, income, zip code, education level, number of children, marital status), risk preferences (general, weather domain), assessment of the forecast (in terms of accuracy and trustworthiness), weather variables (use of weather forecasts, current outdoor temperature), and task comprehensibility.
Finally, the location, time, and realized temperatures corresponding to the historical and forecasted temperatures as well as the sources of these information are revealed, the payoffs are calculated, and the survey is closed.