Misattribution of monetary amounts

Last registered on May 24, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Misattribution of monetary amounts
Initial registration date
May 21, 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
May 24, 2021, 8:56 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Central European University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Studies have shown that utility is reference dependent (e.g. Kahneman and Tversky 1979; Abeler et al. 2011; Koszegi and Rabin 2006). Thus, people care not only about the utility from consuming a good or service, but also about the degree to which it exceeds or falls short of expectations. If they are unable to disentangle the surprise factor from the intrinsic value of the outcome, they are predisposed to forming biased beliefs. This phenomenon called misattribution of reference-dependent utility has received little attention in the experimental literature. Evidence of misattribution of reference-dependence has been shown in effort-level tasks (Gagnon-Bartsch and Bushong 2017). However, other contexts have not been explored. A monetary context, for example, would be interesting to investigate both because money is not a directly consumed good, and because people have sufficient experience with money by using it in transactions on an everyday basis. Through an online experiment on Prolific, this paper will test if people misattribute sensations of elations or disappointments to the underlying quality of monetary amounts or money in general.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Kerekov , Rumen. 2021. "Misattribution of monetary amounts." AEA RCT Registry. May 24. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7707-1.0
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Maximum number of tedious tasks that participants are willing to do for different amounts of money.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participants will be divided into two groups and will be given money (1 or 3 euro). Participants in the first group will receive money with certainty. Participants in the second group will receive money through a coin-flip. That means that they will have a 50% chance to get 1 euro and 50% chance to get 3 euro. Then, all participants will be involved in a reading comprehension task. At the end, participants will be asked to do tedious tasks for various monetary amounts.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
way of receiving monetary amounts
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
300 participants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50 participants control, 5x50 participants treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


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