MTurk study on payment and annoyances

Interesting new study by Daniel Goldstein, Preston McAfee and Siddharth Suri at Microsoft Research just came out. To quote:

The experiment had two variables at play. First, the Turkers were randomly assigned to groups whose workers were paid 10c, 20c or 30c per 50 e-mails categorised. Second, while the workers were sorting through the e-mails, they were either shown no ads, “good” ads or “bad” ads. Some workers diligently plodded on while others gave up and cashed out. The wicked brilliance of this design is that the dropout rate is precisely what the experimenters wanted to study.

Unsurprisingly, the experiment found people will do more work when you pay them a better rate, and less work when you show them annoying adverts.

Comparing the two lets the researchers estimate the magnitude of the effect, which is striking: removing annoying ads entirely produced as much extra effort as paying an additional $1.15 per 1,000 e-mails categorised — and in effect $1.15 per 1,000 adverts viewed. But $1.15 per 1,000 views is actually a higher rate than many annoying advertisers will pay — the rate for a cheap advert may be as low as 25c per 1,000 views, says Goldstein.”

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