This is a factorial vignette experiment in which participants – in this case, professional philosophers – see a subset of 10 vignettes, or "scenarios", drawn from a pool of 31 scenarios, with an option to see 10 more.
All the scenarios concern the hypothetical purchase, sale and production of mugs. They differ along three principal dimensions – the explicit exercise of power, the existence of inequality, whether it is relational – and four subsidiary dimensions – background luck, the satisfaction of basic needs, unjust power source and disrespect.
The full text from the survey (the initial email confirmation page and the main survey) is attached to this registry entry.
Our main hypotheses and an outline of our analysis plan are attached to this registry entry.
Individual choices are not incentivized, but participation will be, via the distribution of Amazon vouchers worth 200 USD (or local equivalent) sent to 10 randomly selected addresses from the set of respondents who complete the survey (and do not opt out of the prize draw).
We will recruit philosophers (professional academics and graduate students) online, through two well-known philosophy blogs and a direct e-mail mail out. Subjects responding via the blog are required first to enter their institutional email address in an initial one-page “survey”, which then emails them a personalized link to the main survey. This enables us to confirm they are at a recognized academic institution.
The blogs are Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog (https://leiterreports.typepad.com) and Daily Nous (https://dailynous.com). Leiter Reports is the preeminent blog in professional philosophy, reporting “news and views about philosophy, the academic profession, academic freedom, intellectual culture, and other topics.” It is edited by Prof. Brian Leiter (Chicago), receives over 300,000 monthly visits, and is ranked 401,118 on alexa.com (as of 30 April 2022). Daily Nous is a similarly popular blog, reporting “news for and about the philosophy profession”. It is edited by Dr. Justin Weinberg (University of South Carolina), receives a similar number of monthly visits, and is ranked 263,056 on alexa.com (as of 30 April 2022).
[Update on May 18, 2022: Since launching on the two main blogs reporting news from the philosophy profession (Leiter Reports and Daily Nous) discussed above, we made connections with one additional blog and a list serv. A link to the survey was posted on Crooked Timber (https://crookedtimber.org) on May 17 and will be distributed to the Philos-L list serv (hosted by the University of Liverpool) on May 20. Our survey’s expiration date of July 4, 2022 remains valid for all data sources.]
A database of ~2600 professional philosophers’ emails was compiled from the addresses available on the websites of the world’s top rated philosophy departments, as ranked by the Philosophical Gourmet Report (https://www.philosophicalgourmet.com).
We selected many likely locations in the Trial Information section of this entry. Ours is a global (online) study so participation is possible from anywhere in principle, but "global" or "online" were not options in the Location field and we were required to enter at least one location.
[Update on May 1, 2023: We expand the scope of the project to collect responses to the same pool of vignettes, from a non-academic pool of subjects, intended to be more representative of the population at large. We will use the platform Prolific to collect responses from 800 subjects. Other than the subjects themselves, the only differences in design are that we
(i) present these subjects with the 10 initial vignettes only (i.e., without the option to answer a further 10);
(ii) will not ask them the opinion and professional questions only relevant to academic philosophers;
(iii) will pay them for their work through the platform rather than with via an Amazon voucher lottery.
In terms of analysis, we intend to use these data to compare against those from academic philosophers. This is exploratory and we do not put forward any particular hypotheses.]
[Update on Sep 21, 2023: pilots suggest an estimated average completion time to be about 10 minutes. We decided to pay subjects recruited via Prolific their local currency equivalent of 2.50 GBP for a complete response. We will open the data collection for the main wave of 800 subjects on Prolific on Sep 21, 2023. Although we will request data from 800 distinct subjects, the final sample size may be slightly below that if there are technical issues. In addition, subjects who failed to answer a captcha or attention check question correctly are automatically screened out and do not count towards our final sample size request.]
[Update on Oct 27, 2023: We ran the wave of data collection we announced in our Sep 2023 update. That sample primarily consists of data from UK-based respondents. To provide a comparison to those based in the US, we decided to run a second wave of collection on Prolific, restricting the sample to those based in the US. All other collection details will remain the same. We will begin recruitment for this on Prolific on Oct 27, 2023. We will request data from 800 distinct subjects, but the final sample size may be slightly below that if there are technical issues. In addition, subjects who failed to answer a captcha or attention check question correctly are automatically screened out and do not count towards our final sample size request.]
We will discard any responses linked to non-institutional email domains because it is important that we restrict responses to academic philosophers only (see notes on subject-recruitment below). We will discard responses from those declaring themselves to be undergraduate students. Data from those respondents will not be analyzed or presented.
Additional possible grounds for exclusion include response times so fast (e.g., within 2 seconds) that it is not credible that any attention was paid or incomplete survey responses. If we exclude any such data, we will report the exclusions, and report results both with and without the exclusions.