Time-sensitive self-confidence and competition entry

Last registered on February 22, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Time-sensitive self-confidence and competition entry
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008434
Initial registration date
December 14, 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
December 14, 2021, 4:25 PM EST

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

Last updated
February 22, 2022, 12:38 PM EST

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Technical University Munich

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Technical University Munich

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-12-15
End date
2022-03-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Empirical evidence suggests that people's beliefs about themselves and their future prospects often become more pessimistic when the resolution of truth is imminent (see Sweeny and Krizan (2013) for a review). For instance, Krizan and Sweeny (2013) show that voters lower their expectations about the chances of their preferred outcome as the Election Day approaches. In a related vein, Taylor and Sheppard (1998) document that subjects lower their predictions for a medical condition with severe consequences when they will learn the result of this testing in the near future.

We study the impact of expectations about the timing of uncertainty resolution on beliefs about exam grades. We departure from previous experiments by implementing the following design features. First, we elicit beliefs in an incentive compatible manner such that any belief distortion is costly in terms of expected payoffs. Second, we exogenously manipulate expectations about the timing of uncertainty resolution while holding the timing of belief elicitations constant. Third, we investigate how the manipulated confidence level of beliefs about exam grades influences the willingness to select into a competitive payment scheme for performance in the exam. We hypothesize that beliefs about exam grades become more pessimistic when individuals expect the immediate resolution of uncertainty, resulting in a lower propensity to enter a competitive environment.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Drobner, Christoph and Michael Kurschilgen. 2022. "Time-sensitive self-confidence and competition entry." AEA RCT Registry. February 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8434
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2021-12-15
Intervention End Date
2022-03-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Grade beliefs in Part 2.
Dummy for the decision to enter the competitive payment scheme in Part 2.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)

Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment studies the impact of expectations about uncertainty resolution on belief formation and its effect on the decision to enter a competitive environment.
Experimental Design Details
Overall, the experiment consists of two parts. Part 1 will be conducted before the exam in Economics 1. Part 2 will be conducted on February 23, two days after the exam in Economics 1.

In Part 1 and Part 2.1, we will elicit grade beliefs about the exam in Economics 1. Specifically, subjects select their best guess about their exam grade and have the opportunity to earn 10€ if their guess matches their actual exam grade. In Part 2.2, subjects will have the opportunity to get a payment for every correctly solved question in the actual exam, which consists of 40 multiple choice questions. Therefore, subjects can choose between two payoff schemes: First, a non-competitive payment scheme, in which subjects receive 12.5 cents for each correct answer in the exam. Second, a competitive payment scheme, in which subjects receive 50 cents for each correct answer in the exam if and only if their total number of correct answers exceeds the total number of correct answers of three randomly matched students. In Part 2.3, we additionally elicit subjects' probabilistic beliefs about the likelihood of each grade in the grade distribution.
Randomization Method
Randomization done by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Treatment is randomized at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
≈300
We invite approximately 1200 students of the course Economics 1 to participate in the experiment. Based on our experience in previous classroom experiments, we expect that 300 subjects will finish both parts of the experiment.
Sample size: planned number of observations
≈300
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
≈150 in Treatment Immediate
≈150 in Treatment Delay
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
German Association for Experimental Economic Research e.V.
IRB Approval Date
2021-12-07
IRB Approval Number
PDhvsn3U
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