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Title Frames for Ingroup Policing during Conflict
Post date 08/19/2018
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale In situations of conflict, ingroup criticism - criticism that members of a given social group direct towards their fellow ingroup members or towards the group itself - can help prevent negative intergroup outcomes. But one factor that could determine the effectiveness of ingroup criticism is the receptiveness of others. This study tests other ingroup members’ receptiveness to two frames for criticism: A moral frame, which justifies the criticism by arguing that the criticized ingroup behavior is immoral, and a pragmatic frame, which argues that the criticized behavior is harmful to the group’s interests. These frames are tested in an experiment involving participants in several dozen focus groups, each with 3–10 Jewish Israeli participants, in Haifa, Israel. The topic of discussion for these focus groups centered on the killing of a neutralized Palestinian attacker by an Israeli soldier in March, 2016, and specifically addressed whether or not the soldier’s actions should have been condemned by prominent Israeli political and military leaders as it was. The experimental treatment was delivered through a confederate who participated in these groups as if he were also a research subject. In a third of the groups, the confederate took a neutral position; in the other two-thirds, he argued in favor of condemnation from either a moral or pragmatic frame. To measure the effect of these frames, after the focus group, participants provided measures of their willingness to engage in ingroup criticism themselves, their approval of criticism coming from other ingroup members, and their willingness to compromise with the outgroup (Palestinians). There was also a true control, where some participants who didn’t participate in any group answer the same outcome questions. It is hypothesized that results from this experiment will show that a moral frame causes people to become more critical of the soldier’s actions and more supportive of leaders’ criticism, but that the confederate will incur a backlash from other ingroup members who will rate him/her lower than other participants. Note that this design is based on a very similar experiment conducted in 2016. The results of that experiment were used to adjust the hypotheses for this study, in comparison to the 2016 design and PAP.
C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested? Most of the quantities of interest fall into three groups in this study: (1) willingness to engage in ingroup criticism, (2) approval of criticism coming from other ingroup members, and (3) willingness to compromise with the outgroup (Palestinians). 1. Willingness to engage in ingroup criticism: - An index of responses to four statements about the behavior of the soldier (agree/disagree, 1-7 scale). - Coded participant statement in a letter asked to write (supportive/condemning of soldier, 1-5 scale). - Average of coded participant statements in focus group (supportive/condemning of soldier, 1-5 scale). 2. Approval of criticism coming from other ingroup members: - An index of responses to two statements about leaders' condemnation of soldier (agree/disagree, 1-7 scale). - Coded participant statement in a letter asked to write (supportive/condemning of leaders, 1-5 scale). - Responses to statements about how convincing other participants were and how much they contributed to the conversation – the average for other participants is subtracted from the ratings for the confederate, for a difference measure (note that this differs from the 2016 pre-analysis plan) - An index of responses to eleven statements about the importance of silencing others (agree/disagree, 1-7 scale). 3. Willingness to compromise with the outgroup (Palestinians): - Indices of responses to seven statements about willingness to compromise over a variety of issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (oppose/support, 1-5 scale, two separate indices, one with the first five questions, the other with the final two). "Moral" treatment, compared to control: more willingness to engage in ingroup criticism, higher approval of criticism from others except for the confederate where there will be lower approval, and more willingness to compromise with Palestinians. "Pragmatic " treatment, compared to control: more willingness to engage in ingroup criticism, higher approval of criticism from others, and more willingness to compromise with Palestinians. Participants in the treatment groups will be compared both to the true control and to participants in the control focus groups. Lastly, I will analyze the transcripts of the focus groups using an STM. I hypothesize that participants mimic the language of the confederate. To bar against any potential for biased results, I will use the STM package in R with its search function to find the number of topics that best fit my texts. In the STM, I will include controls for each individual and how long into the focus group each individual made their statements.
C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? * These hypotheses will be tested using linear regression. Because of the small sample size, I will control for some important covariates that are likely to have an effect on the outcome, aside from a regression without such covariates. Importantly, I will not include any such covariates to control for imbalances between treatment and control groups. Covariates to control for when looking at outcomes measuring willingness to engage in ingroup criticism: An index of responses to four statements measuring subjects' level of identification as Jewish and political ideology. Covariates to control for when looking at outcomes measuring approval of criticism coming from other ingroup members: An index of responses to four statements measuring subjects' level of identification as Jewish and political ideology. Covariates to control for when looking at outcomes measuring willingness to compromise with the outgroup (Palestinians): An index of responses to four statements measuring subjects' level of identification as Jewish, political ideology, and a dichotomous variable for whether or not the subject has been exposed to violence related to the conflict (as measured by responses to three questions). Note that I will not use clustered standard errors in my analysis. In the 2016 study, I specified that I would be the “randomization occurred at the focus group level.” While this is the case, participants in the 2016 study (and this study) are also randomly assigned to treatment conditions before being assigned to a focus group. Thus, participants treatment assignments are not correlated within clusters, either in this study or the 2016 study. For this reason, it is not appropriate to use clustered standard errors in my analysis. See Abadie et al, 2017, “When Should You Adjust Standard Errors for Clustering?”
C4 Country Israel
C5 Scale (# of Units) Approximately 100-150 units.
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? No
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number IRB16-0740
C9 Date of IRB Approval July 17, 2018
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Researchers
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? No
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? not provided by authors
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors