Turking Overtime: How Participant Characteristics and Behavior Vary Over Time and Day on Amazon Mechanical Turk

34 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2016 Last revised: 26 Apr 2017

See all articles by Antonio Arechar

Antonio Arechar

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Gordon T. Kraft-Todd

Yale University, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Department of Psychology

David G. Rand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date Written: April 25, 2017

Abstract

Online experiments allow researchers to collect datasets at times not typical of laboratory studies. We recruit 2,336 participants from Amazon Mechanical Turk to examine if participant characteristics and behaviors differ depending on whether the experiment is conducted during the day versus night, and on weekdays versus weekends. Participants make incentivized decisions involving prosociality, punishment, and discounting, and complete a demographic and personality survey. We find no time or day differences in behavior, but do find that participants at nights and on weekends are less experienced with online studies; on weekends are less reflective; and at night are less conscientious and more neurotic. These results are largely robust to finer grained measures of time and day. We also find that those who participated earlier in the course of the study are more experienced, reflective, and agreeable, but less charitable than later participants.

Keywords: cooperation; honesty; decision-making; time of day; mturk; self-control

JEL Classification: C80, C90

Suggested Citation

Arechar, Antonio and Kraft-Todd, Gordon T. and Rand, David G., Turking Overtime: How Participant Characteristics and Behavior Vary Over Time and Day on Amazon Mechanical Turk (April 25, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2836946 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2836946

Antonio Arechar (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Gordon T. Kraft-Todd

Yale University, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Department of Psychology ( email )

P.O. Box 208205
New Haven, CT 06520-8205
United States

David G. Rand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.daverand.org

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