How Does Exposure to Discordant Media Sources Affect Political Attitudes and Behavior? Experimental Evidence from Turkey

Last registered on July 27, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
How Does Exposure to Discordant Media Sources Affect Political Attitudes and Behavior? Experimental Evidence from Turkey
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008489
Initial registration date
November 07, 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
November 08, 2021, 1:39 PM EST

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

Last updated
July 27, 2022, 9:36 AM EDT

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

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
UC Berkeley, Goldman School of Public Policy

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
ITAM
PI Affiliation
Stanford University
PI Affiliation
Harvard University, Harvard Kennedy School

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-02-01
End date
2022-10-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
When citizens lack exposure to media sources which offer contrasting perspectives, biased information consumption diets risk undermining democratic accountability. This might especially be the case in dominant party settings where many citizens lack familiarity with credible media sources from across the political spectrum. In the context of Turkey, we implement a randomized control trial that induces citizens’ exposure to either politically aligned (concordant) or non-aligned (discordant) online media sources over the course of half a year. We consider effects on media consumption and attitudes; information-sharing within social networks; affective polarization; political engagement; and attitudes towards government and democracy. Our results will speak to the relationship between media consumption and democratic accountability in a setting where citizens’ exposure to discordant information sources is otherwise limited.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Akbiyik, Ahmet et al. 2022. "How Does Exposure to Discordant Media Sources Affect Political Attitudes and Behavior? Experimental Evidence from Turkey." AEA RCT Registry. July 27. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8489
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We implement a randomized control trial that induces citizens' exposure to either politically aligned (concordant) or non-aligned (discordant) online media sources over the course of half a year.
Intervention Start Date
2021-02-01
Intervention End Date
2022-03-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Media consumption and attitudes; information-sharing within social networks; affective polarization; political engagement; and attitudes towards government and democracy.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
See PAP

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We randomly assigned experimental participants to exposure to one of six media outlets, which differ in their political views (pro-government vs. anti-government) and the way they disseminate information (news articles vs. fact checking). Participants were (1) instructed to follow their assigned news outlet on social media, and (2) financially incentivized to consume a curated set of top headlines from their assigned outlet, which they receive once a week via SMS messages and notifications from a cell phone application developed for this project.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization is conducted on the computer
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomization is at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
500
Sample size: planned number of observations
6000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
24% control, 19% strong anti-government outlet, 9% moderate anti-government outlet, 9% anti-government factchecking, 8% pro-government fact-checking, 9% moderate pro-government outlet, 21% strong pro-government outlet
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Harvard University-Area Committee on the Use of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2020-10-16
IRB Approval Number
IRB20-1665
IRB Name
UC Berkeley Committee for Protection of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2020-10-28
IRB Approval Number
2020-09-13655
Analysis Plan

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