The perspective-taking exercise was conducted in an online survey of a nationally representative sample of 5,400 American adults. The survey was fielded in the two weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election, in which policies related to immigrants and refugees were a major point of contention. In addition to the perspective-taking condition, the survey experiment included two other randomly assigned treatment conditions: an information-only group and a pure control group.
In each of the nine train stations Enos studied, he chose two rush hour trains that were close in time and randomly assigned one to treatment and one to control. Prior to the intervention, Enos distributed surveys asking commuters a variety of questions, including three specifically about immigration and nationhood: 1) Should immigration be increased, decreased or kept the same? 2) Should illegal immigrants without criminal records be allowed to stay in the United States? and 3) should English be declared the national language of the United States?
Paluck and Shepherd first conducted a survey of the total student population at a small public high school in Connecticut (N=291) that measured the student social network via student nominations. They also used questions to measure perceptions of prescriptive norms regarding harassment at the school, of behavior that can deescalate harassment, and of students’ rationale for harassment. They administered the survey twice more (three times total) after their intervention.