The Impacts of Informational and Emotional Messages on Attitudes Towards Migrants

Last registered on December 03, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Impacts of Informational and Emotional Messages on Attitudes Towards Migrants
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008645
Initial registration date
November 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
December 03, 2021, 2:46 PM EST

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

Locations

Region
Region
Region
Region
Region
Region
Region
Region
Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
CEDLAS-FCE-UNLP and University of Nottingham

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
InterAmerican Development Bank
PI Affiliation
InterAmerican Development Bank
PI Affiliation
InterAmerican Development Bank
PI Affiliation
UNDP
PI Affiliation
UNDP

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-11-01
End date
2021-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Can attitudes towards immigrants change as a result of simple, low-cost interventions? In this document we lay out the design of a large-scale online survey experiment that intends to modify attitudes towards migrants in nine Latin American and Caribbean countries. Our study will test the efficacy of two different interventions: an informational video attempting at correcting misperceptions about the size and characteristics of the migrant population and an emotional video attempting at generating compassion towards migrants. We hope the results of this study will draw lessons useful for governments in the region in the design of programs to foster social cohesion.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Cruces, Guillermo et al. 2021. "The Impacts of Informational and Emotional Messages on Attitudes Towards Migrants ." AEA RCT Registry. December 03. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8645
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We will conduct a between-subjects online experiment to estimate the causal effect of an informational and an emotional video (relative to a placebo video) on attitudes towards migrants.
Intervention Start Date
2021-11-01
Intervention End Date
2021-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Migrant Acceptance Index, Beliefs Index and Trust
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Migrant Acceptance Index. The index is based on three questions that Gallup asked in 140 countries in 2016 and 2017 and updated again in 145 countries in 2019. The questions ask whether people think migrants living in their country, becoming their neighbors, and marrying into their families are good things or bad things. The index is a sum of the points across the three questions, with a maximum possible score of 9.0 (all three are good things) and a minimum possible score of zero (all three are bad things). The higher the score, the more accepting the population is of migrants.

Beliefs Index. The index is based on seven questions where respondents are asked about their level of agreement, on a 4-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (”totally disagree”) to 4 (”totally agree”), with statements about the impacts of migration on the respondents’ country. The index will be constructed following the methodology in Kling et al. (2007), by z-scoring the answer to each one of the seven questions and then taking a simple average, with the variables re-coded that more positive beliefs have higher scores.

Trust. This outcome corresponds to the self-reported level of trust towards migrants. It will consist of the (z-scored) level of agreement, on a 4-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (”totally disagree”) to 4 (”totally agree”), with the statement: “Migrants living in my country can be trusted just as much as you can trust [gentilic for respondent’s country]”.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Policy index and altruism
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Policy Index. The index is based on three questions where respondents are asked about their level of agreement, on a 4- point Likert scale ranging from 1 (“totally disagree”) to 4 (”totally agree”), with their government implementing certain policies to integrate migrants. The index will be constructed following the methodology in Kling et al. (2007), by z-scoring the answer to each one of the seven questions and then taking a simple average.7

Altruism. It will measure the intention to donate to a migrant organization rather than an actual donation. The outcome of interest is a binary variable equal to one if the respondent answers they would donate to a migrant organization and zero otherwise.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Randomize at the individual level to three different treatment arms
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The participants will first answer a baseline survey and then they will be randomly assigned to a treatment arm. The survey software will randomize the individuals into the treatment arms.
Randomization Unit
Individuals
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Our total sample size will be n = 21,000, where the seven larger countries will each have a sample size of n = 2,400 and the two smaller countries will each have a sample size of n = 2,100
Sample size: planned number of observations
Our total sample size will be n = 21,000, where the seven larger countries will each have a sample size of n = 2,400 and the two smaller countries will each have a sample size of n = 2,100
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
In each of the countries, a third of participants will be assigned to the informational video treatment, a third to the emotional video treatment, and a third to the placebo video. The countries with a sample size of n = 2400 will have n = 800 individuals assigned to the placebo, n = 800 individuals assigned to the informational video and n = 800 individuals assigned to the emotional video. The countries with a sample size of n = 2100 will have n = 700 individuals assigned to the placebo, n = 700 individuals assigned to the informational video and n = 700 individuals assigned to the emotional video. In total, we will have n = 7000 individuals assigned to the placebo, n = 7000 individuals assigned to the informational video and n = 7000 individuals assigned to the emotional video.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We assume a power equal to 0.8, a level of statistical test equal to 0.05 and that the variables that we collect at baseline (i.e. before the treatment) explain 0.3 of the variance in the final result when we pool all countries (and when we pool the seven large countries) and 0.2 when we use individual countries (and also when we pool the small Caribbean countries). We also show MDEs for the whole sample (n = 21,000), for the large country group (16,800), for the small country group (4,200), and for individual countries (n = 2,400 and n = 2,100). Under these assumptions, using the formula described above, the MDE for the treatment effect of each treatment against the control (where p = 0.5) is .032σ for the whole sample, 0.036σ for the large countries sample, 0.077σ for the small countries sample, .10σ for each individual large country, and 0.11σ for each individual small country.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Nottingham School of Economics Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2021-10-26
IRB Approval Number
N/A

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