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Pay rates and subject performance in social science experiments using crowdsourced online samples.

Andersen, David J. and Lau, Richard R. (2018) 'Pay rates and subject performance in social science experiments using crowdsourced online samples.', Journal of experimental political science., 5 (3). pp. 217-229.


Mechanical Turk has become an important source of subjects for social science experiments, providing a low-cost alternative to the convenience of using undergraduates while avoiding the expense of drawing fully representative samples. However, we know little about how the rates we pay to “Turkers” for participating in social science experiments affects their participation. This study examines subject performance using two experiments – a short survey experiment and a longer dynamic process tracing study of political campaigns – that recruited Turkers at different rates of pay. Looking at demographics and using measures of attention, engagement and evaluation of the candidates, we find no effects of pay rates upon subject recruitment or participation. We conclude by discussing implications and ethical standards of pay.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This article has been published in a revised form in Journal of Experimental Political Science This version is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND. No commercial re-distribution or re-use allowed. Derivative works cannot be distributed. © The Experimental Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2018 copyright holder.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:12 January 2021
Date of first online publication:2018
Date first made open access:12 January 2021

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