Where Can Financial Incentives Eliminate Partisan Answers to Factual Questions?

Last registered on October 27, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Where Can Financial Incentives Eliminate Partisan Answers to Factual Questions?
Initial registration date
October 25, 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
October 27, 2021, 10:57 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Ohio University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
We will study the sensitivity of partisan cheerleading to financial incentives over a broad range of topics. We are particularly interested in the degree to which financial incentives may be able to decrease partisan cheerleading in some areas but not in others. We expect there may be a systematic pattern in the nature of these areas which we will test for in our survey.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Dutcher, Glenn et al. 2021. "Where Can Financial Incentives Eliminate Partisan Answers to Factual Questions?." AEA RCT Registry. October 27. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8413-1.0
Experimental Details


We will employ two surveys. The surveys will ask participants to state their beliefs on factually based questions. The two surveys will differ only on the marginal incentive for accurate answers where one will provide incentives for correct answers and the other will not.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We will determine the extent of partisan cheerleading by examining the difference between answers when incentives are and are not given for individuals whose political party affiliation differs.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Participants will be asked their political party affiliation and this will be linked to their answers on the factual based questions.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We will also examine if a link exists between CRT questions and answers on factual based questions.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Participants will answers a few CRT questions. We measure the number of correctly answered CRT questions and link this to their political party affiliation and answers to factual based questions.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will use a representative sample of the U.S. population. Approximately half of the sample will receive the incentivized version of the survey and the other half the unincentivized version.
Experimental Design Details
See the pre-analysis plan in the "Analysis Plan" section for more details. Questions were selected such that we would expect partisan differences for some questions, while for others we did not. The intervention will determine where partisan cheerleading is occurring and where true beliefs are more likely to differ. When incentives are not given, we expect to observe partisan differences that support one's own political party affiliation. We expect incentives will not reduce these partisan differences when the questions are related to misstatements by political actors and we expect incentives to reduce partisan differences if the topic was not subject to misstatements by political actors. Participants will also have the chance to revise their answers should they wish to. Because the revisions are incentivized, we expect there to be a positive relationship between the degree of partisan bias and their choice to revise prior answers. Finally, we will ask participants to complete some cognitive reflection questions where we do not expect there to be a difference between incentivized and non-incentivized answers to these questions.
Randomization Method
The survey company we will employ will randomize who receives the incentivized surveys and who does not.
Randomization Unit
Individuals will randomly receive either the incentivized or unincentivized survey.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
300 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
300 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
150 per treatment arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Southern Methodist University IRB Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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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