Pygmalion Effect and Classroom Networks: Evidence from Schools in Pakistan

Last registered on January 30, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Pygmalion Effect and Classroom Networks: Evidence from Schools in Pakistan
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007846
Initial registration date
June 20, 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
June 23, 2021, 8:36 AM EDT

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

Last updated
January 30, 2022, 10:31 PM EST

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Harvard University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Toronto
PI Affiliation
University of Oxford

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-02-16
End date
2022-01-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Teacher expectations, as literature in psychology has shown, can matter for a student’s performance by creating self-fulfilling prophecies, which is known as the Pygmalion Effect (Rosenthal & Jacobson, 1968, 1992). Using an experimental design, we aim to shed light on answering whether this hypothesized effect of teacher expectations can be harnessed to improve student effort, achievement and engagement, in a low-resource context, like Pakistan. As part of our treatment, teachers deliver statements conveying high expectations of effort to students. Using an experimental design, our study aims to shed light on whether: (a) expectations of high effort and achievement affect student performance and engagement; (b) the treatment effect differs according to whether these expectations are conveyed to a student individually or in a pair and (c) the treatment effect differs by gender. We will also analyze how the intervention affects student peer interactions.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Asim, Minahil , Ronak Jain and Vatsal Khandelwal. 2022. "Pygmalion Effect and Classroom Networks: Evidence from Schools in Pakistan." AEA RCT Registry. January 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7846
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Using an experimental design, we aim to answer whether high teacher expectations can be used to improve student effort, cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes, parental engagement, and teacher engagement.
Intervention Start Date
2021-06-03
Intervention End Date
2021-10-20

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our main student-level outcomes include self-efficacy, self-esteem, motivation and effort, student stress levels, growth mindset attitudes, and academic performance. Our main class-level outcomes include attendance, engagement, punishments/warnings, classroom behavior.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We intend to additionally measure the following teacher-level outcomes: expectations, engagement, and perceived interest in child's education. Our parental-level outcomes include engagement, investment in child's education and beliefs.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We divided ~320 classrooms in our study into three groups: (1) Control Group (status quo) (2) Individual Treatment Arm, where student-specific high teacher expectations and encouragement were conveyed individually and (3) Peer Treatment Arm, where student-specific high teacher expectations and encouragement were conveyed to a student and in addition, they were randomly matched with another classmate (of same gender) and were encouraged to work together.
Experimental Design Details
Classrooms are divided into three arms- Control, Individual Treatment, and Peer Treatment. We divide the control group further into two groups: (a) where students either only received their current performance on the math test, or (b) where students did not receive any information. We asked current math teachers to fill in the following to elicit their expectations. (1)"I expect the student to work hard and improve to *achieve at least* X (out of 100%) in upcoming exams and tests." (2) "I expect the student to work hard and improve and I think that *even Y (out of 100%) is achievable* in upcoming exams and tests." Teachers were also guided that they should think of this as a realistic expectation to set for the student taking into account their most recent test score. We then divide the students in both treatment arms into two groups where students in a class were randomized either to receive a 'High' teacher expectation ('X' above) or a 'Very High' teacher expectation ('Y' above). Individuals in both treatment arms randomly receive one of the two statements individually and then are randomly matched with a classmate for encouragement if they are in the peer arm.
Randomization Method
Cluster Randomization (using STATA)
Randomization Unit
Classrooms at the first stage of randomization (i.e. dividing our sample into control and treatment group). In our treatment arms, we further use within classroom randomization at the second stage.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
~320 Classrooms
Sample size: planned number of observations
~2000 Students and Parents and ~130 Teachers.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
~106 classrooms per treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Harvard University-Area Committee on the Use of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2020-02-12
IRB Approval Number
IRB19-1826
IRB Name
Central University Research Ethics Committee, University of Oxford
IRB Approval Date
2020-12-13
IRB Approval Number
ECONCIA20-21-03
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