Beyond the Turk: Alternative Platforms for Crowdsourcing Behavioral Research

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 70, 153-163, 2017

30 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2015 Last revised: 10 Jan 2019

See all articles by Eyal Peer

Eyal Peer

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Federmann School of Government and Public Policy

Sonam Samat

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Laura Brandimarte

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Alessandro Acquisti

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Date Written: May 1, 2016

Abstract

The success of Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) as an online research platform has come at a price: MTurk exhibits slowing rates of population replenishment, and growing participants’ non-naivety. Recently, a number of alternative platforms have emerged, offering capabilities similar to MTurk while providing access to new and more naïve populations. We examined two such platforms, CrowdFlower (CF) and Prolific Academic (ProA). We found that both platforms’ participants were more naïve and less dishonest compared to MTurk. CF showed the best response rate, but CF participants failed more attention-check questions and did not reproduce known effects replicated on ProA and MTurk. Moreover, ProA participants produced data quality that was higher than CF’s and comparable to MTurk’s. We also found important demographic differences between the platforms. We discuss how researchers can use these findings to better plan online research, and their implications for the study of crowdsourcing research platforms.

Suggested Citation

Pe'er, Eyal and Samat, Sonam and Brandimarte, Laura and Acquisti, Alessandro, Beyond the Turk: Alternative Platforms for Crowdsourcing Behavioral Research (May 1, 2016). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 70, 153-163, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2594183 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2594183

Eyal Pe'er (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Federmann School of Government and Public Policy ( email )

Israel

Sonam Samat

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Laura Brandimarte

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Alessandro Acquisti

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-9853 (Phone)
412-268-5339 (Fax)

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