Perceptions of American Elections in Hong Kong and Taiwan

Last registered on January 20, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Perceptions of American Elections in Hong Kong and Taiwan
Initial registration date
January 18, 2022

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
January 20, 2022, 2:23 PM EST

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



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Notre Dame
PI Affiliation
University of Notre Dame

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
During the Trump administration between 2016 and 2020, while the Trump presidency gave rise to numerous controversies both at home and abroad, President Donald Trump however enjoyed enormous support from two places, Hong Kong and Taiwan. At home, many of President Trump's policies appeared to be inconsistent and fairly divisive. Internationally, he alienated conventional allies in both Europe and Asia. Despite all these controversies, he nonetheless was highly (and might still be) widely respected and supported in Hong Kong and Taiwan. To account for the support for Trump among Hong Kongers and Taiwanese people, we propose a political psychology approach, motivated reasoning. The key component of the motivated reasoning theory is the presence of a "motive" when individuals screen information. In our context, despite various differences in political situations, what Hong Kong and Taiwan share in common is that both of them have been significantly affected by China in almost all aspects of life and therefore have a strong motive to support or oppose any policies that would change the way in which China exerts its influence on them. In other words, for those who try to resist the China factor, any policies that would curb China's growing influence will be welcome and the leaders who adopt such policies will also be supported. On the contrary, for those who embrace the China factor, such policies would be disfavored and their makers hated. As suggested by the literature, the reason why political identity or predisposition can motivate one's reasoning is that they provide mental and information shortcut. In the context of this project, this implies that, in processing Trump's policies and signals, Hong Kongers and Taiwanese people have adopted one of the perspectives and therefore introduce biases into their preferences for candidates and policies.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Hui, Victoria, Maggie Shum and Hans Tung. 2022. "Perceptions of American Elections in Hong Kong and Taiwan." AEA RCT Registry. January 20.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Edited news articles
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Continuous scales (Approval ratings)
2. Time for information acquisition and processing
3. discrete choices (Likert items)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Survey experiments
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer (Qualtrics). Subjects are first randomized into two groups of an equal size (i.e.,1000), one of which reads 8 news articles (randomly chosen from 16 articles) on the US-China trade war first and another 8 articles (also randomly chosen from 16 articles) on Trump's Taiwan policy in the final section, and the other one reads the same number of news articles on these two topics in a reverse order. In between thee two sessions, all subjects read 6 statements about the Trump presidency, half of which are factually correct and the other half incorrect. They are then further randomized into two groups, one of which receives the correction information about the 6 statements before they show their approval ratings for different US presidents and the other one directly proceeds to the rating section after reading the 6 statements.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
No cluster
Sample size: planned number of observations
2000 individuals in Hong Kong (1000 individuals for a robustness test ); 2000 individuals in Taiwan
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1000 for each arm (2 arms in total)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Research Ethics Committee, National Taiwan University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Notre Dame Research Compliance
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