Turker Motivation and Data Quality: it’s complicated

Money is a primary, but not the only motivator, for workers at MTurk. And it is up to the researcher to ensure quality is obtained and even more importantly, rationalized in studies.

“We showed that data quality is directly affected by compensation rates for India-based participants. We also found that data were of a lesser quality among India-based than among US participants, even when optimal payment strategies were utilized. We additionally showed that the motivation of MTurk users has shifted, and that monetary compensation is now reported to be the primary reason for working on MTurk, among both US- and India-based workers. Overall, MTurk is a constantly evolving marketplace where multiple factors can contribute to data quality. High-quality survey data can be acquired on MTurk among India-based participants when an appropriate pay rate is provided and task-specific quality assurance procedures are utilized.”

Litman, L., Robinson, J., & Rosenzweig, C. (2015). The relationship between motivation, monetary compensation, and data quality among US-and India-based workers on Mechanical Turk. Behavior research methods, 47(2), 519-528.



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