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Title The effects of online social interactions on Asian American partisan attitudes
Post date 03/05/2019
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale Asian Americans are increasingly voting for Democrats in national elections. High levels of Democratic vote choice among Asian Americans are surprising, given that many are of high socioeconomic status, immigrated from countries with a communist history, or identify as Evangelical Christians. Why do Asian Americans, voters with some conservative predispositions, support Democrats? In previous observational work, I find evidence in support of a theory of “social transmission,” which predicts that Asian Americans develop partisan preferences through the diffusion of partisan views from peers rather than the family. This experiment will provide a direct causal test of this theory. In this study, I will test the effects of viewing partisan social media posts from friends (treatment) versus an article headline (control) on the partisan preferences of Asian American college students. Using a randomized experiment, I will vary the nature and content of hypothetical partisan social media posts, drawing on respondent’s referrals of their own friends to create the treatments. See the attached pre-analysis plan for more information about the study.
C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

The main hypotheses are listed below. See the attached pre-analysis plan for additional hypotheses and information about the outcomes, moderators, pre-treatment covariates (pp. 6-10).

Hypothesis 1 (Social network effects): Relative to social media posts with an article headline alone (control), posts with a headline and comments from friends (treatment) will increase support for the Democratic Party and intentions to vote in future elections. Exposure to the treatment will also increase support for Democrats and intentions to vote within subjects.

Hypothesis 1a (Message content effects): The treatment effects will be limited to or stronger for respondents who view an inclusion treatment, compared to those who view an affective treatment.

Hypothesis 1b (Racial composition effects): Among Asian American respondents, the treatment effects on partisan preferences will be stronger for or limited to those who view a post from mostly non-Asian friends, compared to those who view a post from mostly Asian friends. In contrast, the treatment effects on voting will be stronger for those who view a post from mostly Asian friends, compared to those who view a post from mostly non-Asian friends. Racial composition will not moderate the treatment effects for white respondents.

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? * These hypotheses will be tested using difference-of-means tests and regression analyses. These analyses are described in detail in the attached pre-analysis plan (pp. 11-12).
C4 Country United States
C5 Scale (# of Units) 650
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? Yes
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number 10559
C9 Date of IRB Approval 2/27/2019
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? not provided by authors
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