Conducting Clinical Research Using Crowdsourced Convenience Samples

Posted: 30 Mar 2016

See all articles by Jesse Chandler

Jesse Chandler

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Danielle Shapiro

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Date Written: March 2016

Abstract

Crowdsourcing has had a dramatic impact on the speed and scale at which scientific research can be conducted. Clinical scientists have particularly benefited from readily available research study participants and streamlined recruiting and payment systems afforded by Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), a popular labor market for crowdsourcing workers. MTurk has been used in this capacity for more than five years. The popularity and novelty of the platform have spurred numerous methodological investigations, making it the most studied nonprobability sample available to researchers. This article summarizes what is known about MTurk sample composition and data quality with an emphasis on findings relevant to clinical psychological research. It then addresses methodological issues with using MTurk — many of which are common to other nonprobability samples but unfamiliar to clinical science researchers — and suggests concrete steps to avoid these issues or minimize their impact.

Suggested Citation

Chandler, Jesse and Shapiro, Danielle, Conducting Clinical Research Using Crowdsourced Convenience Samples (March 2016). Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 12, pp. 53-81, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2756449 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-021815-093623

Jesse Chandler (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Danielle Shapiro

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Ann Arbor, MI 48103
United States

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