Turkers of the World Unite: Multilevel In-Group Bias Amongst Crowdworkers on Amazon Mechanical Turk

38 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2018 Last revised: 25 Jan 2019

See all articles by Abdullah Almaatouq

Abdullah Almaatouq

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Peter Krafft

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Yarrow Dunham

Yale University

David G. Rand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Alex Pentland

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date Written: February 12, 2018

Abstract

Crowdsourcing has become an indispensable tool in the behavioral sciences. Often, the “crowd” is considered a black box for gathering impersonal but generalizable data. Researchers sometimes seem to forget that crowdworkers are people with social contexts, unique personalities, and lives. To test this possibility, we measure how crowdworkers (N=2337, pre-registered) share a monetary endowment in a Dictator Game with another MTurk worker, a worker from another crowdworking platform, or a randomly selected stranger. Results indicate preferential in-group treatment for MTurk workers in particular and for crowdworkers in general. Cooperation levels from typical anonymous economic games on MTurk are not a good proxy for anonymous interactions and may generalize most readily only to the intragroup context.

Keywords: In-Group, Dictator Game, Economic Games, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Crowdworkers, Behavioral Economics

Suggested Citation

Almaatouq, Abdullah and Krafft, Peter and Dunham, Yarrow and Rand, David G. and Pentland, Alex, Turkers of the World Unite: Multilevel In-Group Bias Amongst Crowdworkers on Amazon Mechanical Turk (February 12, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3122520 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3122520

Abdullah Almaatouq (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

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

Peter Krafft

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

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

Yarrow Dunham

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

HOME PAGE: http://socialcogdev.com

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

Alex Pentland

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

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

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