Motivated Mislearning: The Case of Correlation Neglect

Last registered on January 19, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Motivated Mislearning: The Case of Correlation Neglect
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008836
Initial registration date
January 19, 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 19, 2022, 12:27 PM EST

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Stanford - Economics

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Stanford Economics

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2020-07-01
End date
2022-02-01
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
We design an experiment to study the role of motivated reasoning in correlation neglect. Participants receive potentially redundant signals about an ego-relevant state---their IQ test performance. We elicit their belief that the signals came from the same source (and thus contain redundant information). Participants generally underappreciate the extent to which identical signals are more likely to come from the same source, but the bias is stronger for ego-favorable signals than for ego-unfavorable signals. We do not detect an asymmetric effect when the state is ego-irrelevant. Our results suggest that individuals may neglect correlation between desirable signals to sustain motivated beliefs.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Bolte, Lukas and Qiaofeng (Tony) Fan. 2022. "Motivated Mislearning: The Case of Correlation Neglect." AEA RCT Registry. January 19. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8836
Sponsors & Partners

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-07-01
Intervention End Date
2021-06-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our main outcome is the degree of correlation neglect depending on whether the information is ego-favorable.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
A secondary outcome is whether flexibility in the degree of correlation neglect allows individuals to hold ego-favorable beliefs.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In our main treatment, participants first take an IQ test which defines an ego-relevant state (IQ Test stage) and then receive possibly correlated (redundant) information about the state (Information stage). At the end of the experiment, we randomly choose one of the two stages to determine a participant's bonus payment. Our main interest lies in how participants assess the redundancy of the information depending on whether it is ego-favorable or ego-unfavorable. In order to more convincingly attribute any effect we find to motivated reasoning, we run a control treatment where the state is ego-irrelevant.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
1202
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Ego-relevant treatment: 601
Ego-irrelevant treatment: 601
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Stanford Research Compliance Office
IRB Approval Date
2020-07-01
IRB Approval Number
44866

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information

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