Bad Habits Researchers Should Change

I’ve spent a bit of time as a Worker lately, just to see if academic work is improving on MTurk. Here are some  things I noticed:

  • Some researchers are still paying poorly. This is bad. Paying 15 cents for a 20 minute survey is just plain awful. Paying $2.50 for a 2 hour study is almost as bad. How can we change this dynamic?
  • Studies provide poor instructions, particularly when it is not at all clear how the Worker will get paid. Make sure it is crystal clear what the Worker has to do to get paid!
  • Poor grammar and confusing sentence structure abound! Proofread your surveys! Get friends and colleagues to read them and make sure they make sense!

On the good side:

  • I saw several studies that clearly identified that there was an unpaid, short, screener survey. I appreciate that, even if I get screened out.
  • Instructions are including reasons why Workers won’t get paid, and those can include zipping through the study extremely quickly. This is good (could be a bit more specific but maybe not).

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