Information Use on Social Media

Last registered on July 01, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Information Use on Social Media
Initial registration date
June 30, 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
July 01, 2021, 8:32 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of Oxford

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
My research objective is to examine how sharing information on social media impacts subsequent beliefs about that information. I aim to test the theory of Cognitive Dissonance - whether actions shape beliefs, and hypothesise that once people share information on their social media profile, they come to believe in it more strongly than they did before. I aim to conduct an online experiment with a large sample from India, which would involve a task of sharing information on Facebook and subsequent measurement of beliefs about the veracity of that information. This research has important policy relevance as the insights can extend an understanding of how the simple act of sharing unverified information itself could contribute to the prevalence of unsubstantiated beliefs, with serious consequences for individual well-being.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Chandra, Gauri. 2021. "Information Use on Social Media." AEA RCT Registry. July 01.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Beliefs about the veracity of the information shared by the participant on social media.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
I aim to conduct an online experiment with a sample of 2500 participants from India, which would involve a task of sharing information on Facebook. All participants will be shown Facebook posts from a page created for the purpose of this experiment. The posts will contain news headlines from a reliable media house. Their interaction with the posts will vary by the treatment arm that they are randomly assigned to, followed by measurement of their beliefs about the information they encountered during the sharing task.
Experimental Design Details
The baseline survey will collect information about demographics as well as the participants' social media usage. I will elicit their priors about different pieces of information, including the news headline that they will be encouraged to share. Participants will then be randomly assigned to either the control, where they simply read the posts, or one of the treatments where they will be incentivised to share a particular post or given the choice to share any one of the posts. Thereafter, they will be asked to rate the veracity of the information that was presented to them in the sharing task, to capture any changes in beliefs as a result of the act of sharing.
Randomization Method
Qualtrics' Algorithmic Randomisation
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
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Blavatnik School of Government Research Ethics Committee (DREC)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


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