The Psychological Basis of Motivation to Take Part in Online Citizen Science

26 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2019

See all articles by Liz Dowthwaite

Liz Dowthwaite

University of Nottingham - Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute

Chris Lintott

University of Oxford

Robert Houghton

affiliation not provided to SSRN

James Sprinks

Earthwatch Europe

Grant Miller

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 1, 2019

Abstract

Increasing motivation to contribute to online citizen science projects can improve user experience and is critical in retaining and attracting users. Drawing on previous studies of motivation, this paper suggests self-determination theory as a framework for explaining the psychological constructs behind participation in Citizen Science. Through examining existing studies of motivation for 6 Zooniverse projects through this lens, the paper suggests how appealing to basic psychological needs could increase participation in online citizen science, considering current practices and directions for future developments and research.

Keywords: citizen science, motivation, self-determination theory

Suggested Citation

Dowthwaite, Liz and Lintott, Chris and Houghton, Robert and Sprinks, James and Miller, Grant, The Psychological Basis of Motivation to Take Part in Online Citizen Science (October 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3480452 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3480452

Liz Dowthwaite (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham - Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute ( email )

United Kingdom

Chris Lintott

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Robert Houghton

affiliation not provided to SSRN

James Sprinks

Earthwatch Europe ( email )

Banbury Road
Oxford, OX2 7DE
United Kingdom

Grant Miller

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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