The effect of research project descriptions on samples drawn from Mechanical Turk

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher James Holden (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Harold Herzog

Abstract: The use of online research is growing in psychology. This growth has been augmented by the development of the free online service, Mechanical Turk (MTurk) created by Amazon. While Buhrmester, Kwang, and Gosling (2011) found that MTurk is a reliable means of data collection; the MTurk data collection process may be prone to recruitment bias. This study investigated whether the keywords in project descriptions influence responses. Subjects were recruited through MTurk and selected to be in one of four keyword conditions. These subjects completed a five-factor model personality measure, a political ideology scale, and the Homophobia Scale (Wright, Adams, & Bernat, 1999). Scores on these three scales were assessed for differences based on the keyword condition. After analysis, it was determined that there were no significant differences between conditions on any of the dependent measures. Keywords do not seem to influence recruitment bias on MTurk surveys.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Homophobia, Methology, MTurk, Online research, Personality, Political ideology
Internet research
Psychology -- Research -- Data processing
Psychology -- Research -- Methodology
Psychological tests

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