Thermal Comfort, Competitiveness and Productivity

Last registered on December 14, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Thermal Comfort, Competitiveness and Productivity
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008693
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, 4:14 PM EST

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
National University of Singapore

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-12-14
End date
2022-06-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
We investigate how worker productivity and behavior in dynamic contests respond to changes in the ambient environment in which these contests are played. We conduct lab experiments among members of the general population.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Salazar, Diego and Alberto Salvo. 2021. "Thermal Comfort, Competitiveness and Productivity." AEA RCT Registry. December 14. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8693
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
University students are invited to an experimental lab session that lasts for a maximum of 1 hour. They are informed that these sessions will be held on campus, in a room in the School of Design and Environment. They are told that they will "perform different tasks on the computer to evaluate task performance in a lab setting, and answer a survey with questions about demographic characteristics and health behaviors." Invitees are informed of the earnings potential and are also told that "the entire experiment will take a maximum of 1 hour and you can leave once you have completed the experiment." Among those students who are interested in participating, they sign up to one session among a list of alternative sessions, without knowledge of the predetermined ambient lab conditions they will encounter... [remainder omitted here but entered in the "hidden" version of the pre-registry, to be be made public subsequently].
Intervention Start Date
2021-12-16
Intervention End Date
2022-06-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We investigate how environmental quality affects (i) the number of tasks completed by round and (ii) transition probabilities in best-of-3 contests, for example, the probability that a player wins a second round after having won vs. lost a first round to a similarly able player.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We also collect responses to questions measuring the participant's understanding of the rules of the contest being played, and their subjective valuations on the ambient lab conditions that they encounter. Besides measuring task completion during a player-pairing activity followed by a best-of-3 contest, we allow subjects to stop investing from an endowment and measure this choice. Further details are provided in the uploaded pamphlet [omitted here but uploaded in the "hidden" version of the pre-registry, to be be made public subsequently].
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Subjects earn a participation fee of $10. (All dollars are SGD.)

Each lab session has two parts. In the first part, participants answer demographic (including health behavior) questions and do a piece-rate activity that lasts 10 minutes. The activity consists of reversing alphanumeric strings and participants earn $0.20 for every text they correctly reverse.

The second part consists of a two-player contest. Each participant is told that s/he is being paired with another participant with similar performance (based on Part 1).

Here are the contest rules for each of three variants of the contest (Descamps et al., 2018). Participants are informed of these rules and are quizzed on them. Players who pass the contest-understanding quiz are paid an additional $3.

Baseline variant
[Omitted here but entered in the "hidden" version of the pre-registered Experimental Design, to be made public subsequently.]

Strategic variant
[Omitted here but entered in the "hidden" version of the pre-registered Experimental Design, to be made public subsequently.]

Psychology variant
[Omitted here but entered in the "hidden" version of the pre-registered Experimental Design, to be made public subsequently.]
Experimental Design Details
Subjects earn a participation fee of $10. (All dollars are SGD.)

Each lab session has two parts. In the first part, participants answer demographic (including health behavior) questions and do a piece-rate activity that lasts 10 minutes. The activity consists of reversing alphanumeric strings and participants earn $0.20 for every text they correctly reverse.

The second part consists of a two-player contest. Each participant is told that s/he is being paired with another participant with similar performance (based on Part 1).

Here are the contest rules for each of three variants of the contest (Descamps et al., 2018). Participants are informed of these rules and are quizzed on them. Players who pass the contest-understanding quiz are paid an additional $3.

Baseline variant
1. There is now a sequence of 10-minute rounds (similar to the text-reversal task you just played).
2. You will play this contest against another player with similar performance.
3. The more texts you reverse in a round, the more likely you win that round. When reversing texts, time is money so you invest $0.05 every 10 seconds (details in the pamphlet).
4. The first player to win 2 rounds takes the $20 contest prize.
5. As soon as you finish this contest, time to be paid and go home.

Strategic variant
1. There is now a sequence of 10-minute rounds (some feature the 10-minute text-reversal task you just played).
2. You will play this contest against another player with similar performance.
3. For round 1, the computer randomly picks the winner. No text reversing in round 1!
4. After round 1, you will play 10-minute rounds of text-reversal tasks.
5. The more texts you reverse in a round, the more likely you win that round. When reversing texts, time is money so you invest $0.05 every 10 seconds (details in the pamphlet).
6. The first player to win 2 rounds (including the random round) takes the $20 contest prize.
7. As soon as you finish this contest, time to be paid and go home

Psychology variant
1. There is now a sequence of 10-minute rounds (similar to the text-reversal task you just played).
2. You will play this contest against another player with similar performance.
3. The more texts you reverse in a round, the more likely you win that round. When reversing texts, time is money so you invest $0.05 every 10 seconds (details in the pamphlet).
4. The first player to win 2 rounds takes the $20 contest prize.
5. If there is a tie after 2 rounds, the computer randomly picks the winner!
6. As soon as you finish this contest, time to be paid and go home.
Randomization Method
Each experimental lab session was randomly assigned, with uniform probability, to a predetermined ambient lab condition.
Randomization Unit
Our randomization unit is the experimental lab session.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
We will conduct experimental lab sessions in two waves:

1. December 2021: We will run two "pilot" sessions (December 14) and 18 experimental sessions (three sessions in each of the following days: December 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22), totaling 20 sessions. For each session, up to 18 college students will sign up. Among the students who signup and show up to their session on the stipulated day and time, we will admit students in pairs, as the key component of the experiment is a two-player contest. So, for example, if 14 students sign up to a given session and 13 of these show up, we will send the last student to arrive (the 13th student) home with an additional $10 participation fee (totaling $20), or invite him/her to wait for a subsequent session if there is another session taking place later that day.

2. February 2022: Pending room availability and our ability to recruit enough participants and bring them into campus during the December 2021 holidays, we will recruit another ~200-250 subjects to participate in the same experiments. Besides the "polar" ambient lab conditions that we will experiment with in December 2021, we may include intermediate conditions as well.
Sample size: planned number of observations
For the lab sessions to take place in December 2021 and February 2022, we plan on recruiting 500 to 650 participants. The two pilot sessions taking place on December 14, 2021 will involve 36 subjects (18 times 2). If the pilot sessions run without problems, we will pool the observations with the subsequent sessions. If (unanticipated) problems occur during the pilot sessions, we will detail the problems we encountered when conducting these sessions and may decide to discard their observations, in which case we will justify our decision to the reader.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
A treatment arm is given by a combination of contest variant (baseline, strategic, psychology) by ambient lab condition (with two "polar" ambient lab conditions planned for December 2021). We will sign up (up to) 18 students per session and run 3 sessions per arm, totaling 54 participants per arm. Further details are provided in the uploaded schedule [omitted here but uploaded in the "hidden" version of the pre-registry, to be be made public subsequently].
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
NUS-IRB
IRB Approval Date
2021-11-24
IRB Approval Number
NUS-IRB-2021-823

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