Media coverage of police: Prolific Online Survey

Last registered on March 10, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Media coverage of police: Prolific Online Survey
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009052
Initial registration date
March 08, 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
March 10, 2022, 9:01 PM EST

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

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Pennsylvania

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Duke University
PI Affiliation
Duke University
PI Affiliation
University of Texas at San Antonio

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-03-08
End date
2022-06-01
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
We are conducting an online study that complements analyses of media coverage of police killings. In this online study, we investigate how the degree of obfuscation in media stories on police killings affects people’s interpretation of what happened and support for policy reform.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Ba, Bocar et al. 2022. "Media coverage of police: Prolific Online Survey." AEA RCT Registry. March 10. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9052
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2022-03-08
Intervention End Date
2022-03-20

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We will have 3 main outcomes:
1. Police officer responsibility
2. Demand for penalties in the department and demand for legal penalties
3. Percent of a donation going to police reform.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
These 3 outcomes will be constructed in the following way:
1. Is the officer morally responsible for the man’s death? (Yes / No) -> Officer responsibility
2. On a scale from 1 to 7, how much do you agree with these statements? (7 being the strongest and 1 being the weakest):
a. The police officer should face some penalties in their department for their actions -> Demand for departmental penalties
b. The police officer should face some legal penalties -> Demand for legal penalties
3. One in 100 participants in this study will have the opportunity to donate $100 to an organization. This is in addition to their payment for participating in the study. Please choose how you want to split your donation among the two organizations below. If you are randomly selected, we will make an anonymous donation to each organization as you have decided below. (Answers need to add up to 100%)
• (1) An organization that aims to improve officer safety as well as health and wellness in police organizations.
• (2) An organization that advocates to reform the police by increasing accountability, for example through officer training.
% for (2) -> Financial support for reforming the police

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We are also collecting data on the following variables, for secondary analysis, which we will be analyzing again according to the pre-specified treatment arms:
• Questions about reform priorities
• Questions about whether the police officer was justified in shooting the person
• Questions about whether the police officer should be held accountable for the shooting

We will also collect sociodemographic data on respondents (race, age, gender, education and location), and will explore if responses change by sociodemographic characteristics.

Lastly, we will test whether the degree of obfuscation (i.e. moving from 2 to 3 or 3 to 4, as defined above) increases the magnitude of our treatment effects.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participants will be randomized into one of 8 treatment arms.
Experimental Design Details
We have 8 treatment arms – weapon vs. no weapon * intransitive / active / passive / no-agent

Intransitive, no weapon:

A 52-year-old man died in an officer-involved shooting on Friday night.

According to the Police Department, an officer responded to a home near 21st Street and Avenue C for a report of domestic violence just before 9:30 p.m. As the officer arrived, he came into contact with a 52-year old man.
The man got wounded in an officer-involved shooting. The man was taken to the hospital where he later died. No officer was hurt in the incident.

Intransitive, weapon:

A 52-year-old man died in an officer-involved shooting on Friday night.

According to the Police Department, an officer responded to a home near 21st Street and Avenue C for a report of domestic violence just before 9:30 p.m. As the officer arrived, he came into contact with a 52-year old man who was reportedly armed. The man got wounded in an officer-involved shooting. The man was taken to the hospital where he later died. No officer was hurt in the incident.

No agent, no weapon:

A 52-year-old man was killed in an officer-involved shooting on Friday night.

According to the Police Department, an officer responded to a home near 21st Street and Avenue C for a report of domestic violence just before 9:30 p.m. As the officer arrived, he came into contact with a 52-year old man. The man was shot in an officer-involved shooting. The man was taken to the hospital, where he later died. No officer was hurt in the incident.

No agent, weapon:

A 52-year-old man was killed in an officer-involved shooting on Friday night.

According to the Police Department, an officer responded to a home near 21st Street and Avenue C for a report of domestic violence just before 9:30 p.m. As the officer arrived, he came into contact with a 52-year old man who was reportedly armed. The man was shot in an officer-involved shooting. The man was taken to the hospital, where he later died. No officer was hurt in the incident.

Passive, weapon
A 52-year-old man was killed by a police officer on Friday night.

According to the Police Department, an officer responded to a home near 21st Street and Avenue C for a report of domestic violence just before 9:30 p.m. As the officer arrived, he came into contact with a 52-year old man who was reportedly armed. The man was shot by police officers. The man was taken to the hospital, where he later died. No officer was hurt in the incident.

Passive, no weapon
A 52-year-old man was killed by a police officer on Friday night.

According to the Police Department, an officer responded to a home near 21st Street and Avenue C for a report of domestic violence just before 9:30 p.m. As the officer arrived, he came into contact with a 52-year old man. The man was shot by police officers. The man was taken to the hospital, where he later died. No officer was hurt in the incident.


Active, no weapon
A police officer killed a 52-year-old man on Friday night.

According to the Police Department, an officer responded to a home near 21st Street and Avenue C for a report of domestic violence just before 9:30 p.m. As the officer arrived, he came into contact with a 52-year old man. The police officer shot the man. The man was taken to the hospital, where he later died. No officer was hurt in the incident.

Active, weapon
A police officer killed a 52-year-old man on Friday night.

According to the Police Department, an officer responded to a home near 21st Street and Avenue C for a report of domestic violence just before 9:30 p.m. As the officer arrived, he came into contact with a 52-year old man who was reportedly armed. The police officer shot the man. The man was taken to the hospital, where he later died. No officer was hurt in the incident.
Randomization Method
The randomization will be done on Qualtrics, a website for conducting online surveys.
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomization will be the individual subject.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
We plan to collect roughly 2,400 observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We plan to collect roughly 300 observations per treatment arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Duke University
IRB Approval Date
2022-03-02
IRB Approval Number
2022-0123
Analysis Plan

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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