Prosocial signaling with a history

Last registered on August 02, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Prosocial signaling with a history
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009689
Initial registration date
July 02, 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
July 12, 2022, 1:53 PM EDT

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

Last updated
August 02, 2022, 7:16 PM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

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

Request Information

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-08-03
End date
2024-08-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Social media and internet search engines give easy access to information about others. This paper studies the behavioral consequences when individuals know more about others they interact with. In principle, increased knowledge limits the ability of decision makers to signal their type through their actions. Thus, if decision makers want to signal a socially desired type, increased knowledge in turn decreases the supply of socially desired behavior. There are however factors that might lead to "unlearning", such as a belief that people can change or that yesterday's news might be forgotten which can keep reputational incentives strong even as individuals learn more about each other's past. I test the behavioral effect of increased knowledge in an experiment and investigate which factors lead to unlearning.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Fries, Tilman. 2022. "Prosocial signaling with a history." AEA RCT Registry. August 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9689
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The experiment varies what an observer knows about a decision maker (DM) who is about to make a moral decision. Further interventions vary whether the observer's knowledge about the DM refers to a recent or a past decision of the DM and whether the observer receives information about the DM just before the DM decides or two weeks earlier.
Intervention Start Date
2022-08-03
Intervention End Date
2022-09-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Decision to revise a moral decision.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Donation share on a scale from 0 - 100.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Please refer to the attached pdf for details on variable definitions.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participants first state what share of a budget they want to allocate to a charity A. They then decide what share of a budget they want to allocate to a charity B. In the third task, participants play a modified sender-receiver game where the receiver has to estimate sender's donation share to charity B. The sender can send information to the receiver before the receiver makes the estimate. Incentives between sender and receiver are misaligned.

In the Baseline treatment, participants give answers to all three stages of the experiment on the same day (in one session). In addition, the receiver receives a signal about the sender's charity A decision before reporting an estimate in the sender-receiver game.

In Treatment A receivers do not receive a signal about the sender's charity A decision before reporting an estimate.

Treatment B introduces a two week time delay between the donation to charity A and the donation to charity B and the trust game. That is, there are two sessions: In session 1, participants only make the donation choice to charity A. In session 2, participants make the donation choice to charity B and participate in the sender-receiver game. Session 2 takes place two weeks after session 1.

Treatment C introduces a two week delay between the donation to charity B and the sender-receiver game. That is, there are two sessions: in session 1, participants make the donation choices to charities A and B. In session 2, participants take part in the sender-receiver game. Session 2 takes place two weeks after session 1.

Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be implemented through the experimental software (otree). Participants click on a link to participate in the experiment and are then randomized into one of the four treatments.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1040 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
1040 individuals participate in total.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1040 individuals in total. For most comparisons, 200 individuals by treatment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Please refer to the attached pdf for details.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
WZB Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2021-12-09
IRB Approval Number
2021/4/132
Analysis Plan

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

Request Information