Intertemporal Self-persuasion
Last registered on June 15, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Intertemporal Self-persuasion
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007791
Initial registration date
June 14, 2021
Last updated
June 15, 2021 11:17 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
WZB
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2021-06-16
End date
2022-12-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
While standard economic models typically view individuals as dispassionate statisticians who try to form accurate beliefs about any decision-relevant variable, intuitive introspection suggests that we have intrinsic preferences over many of our beliefs—e.g., about our own ability, about our own prospects for the future, about our children’s prospects—and that these beliefs may be systematically distorted. Experimental research in psychology and economics has indeed provided evidence of the self-serving malleability of beliefs, a phenomenon often called motivated reasoning (see Kunda, 1990, where the expression is pioneered, and Benabou and Tirole, 2016 for a survey). This paradigm is often cited as a plausible explanation for important real-word phenomena—information avoidance and biased beliefs about health outcomes (Oster et al., 2013; Schwardmann, 2019) or financial status (Olafsson and Pagel, 2018), impasses in bargaining (Babcock and Loewenstein, 1997), and the overconfidence of managers (Huffman et al., 2019). To advance our understanding of motivated cognition, in this project we study the strategies that individuals employ to manufacture their own (future) beliefs.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Barron, Kai and Yves Le Yaouanq. 2021. "Intertemporal Self-persuasion." AEA RCT Registry. June 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7791-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
To advance our understanding of motivated cognition, in this project we study the strategies that individuals employ to manufacture their own (future) beliefs.
Intervention Start Date
2021-06-16
Intervention End Date
2022-11-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary outcome: Measurement of asymmetric information suppression
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Please see the attached pdf file
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Posterior beliefs, (subjective) Bayesian posterior beliefs
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Please see the attached pdf file
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Using a 2 by 2 design, we study how individuals manufacture their own (future) beliefs.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
In our online experiment, the computer will randomly assign participants in our experiment into our four treatment conditions. As described in the attached pdf file, each participant has a slightly higher probability of being assigned to the Low * Delay treatment. The assignment ratio to the four treatments is 3:2:2:2 for the Low * Delay; High * Delay: Low * Immediate; High * Immediate treatments.


Randomization Unit
Individual level randomization.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Individual level randomization. We are targeting 360 individuals; therefore 360 clusters.
Sample size: planned number of observations
360
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment name: Sample size

Low * Delay: 120
High * Delay: 80
Low * Immediate: 80
High * Immediate: 80
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Please see attached pdf.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Ethics Commission, Department of Economics, University of Munich
IRB Approval Date
2020-04-25
IRB Approval Number
Project 2020-06, “Intertemporal Self-Persuasion”
Analysis Plan

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