An interesting article (you can download it for free) argues that MTurk is a great place to sample underrepresented populations. Examples:
They can be used to study job search behaviors: “Although inappropriate for many types of organizational research, a readily available sample of unemployed individuals may be usefulfor answering research questions pertaining to job search behaviors, out-comes regarding unemployment, and the like. Thus, in this sense, MTurkdoes offer a valuable resource for understanding individuals often ignoredin organizational research.”
- They can be used to study job satisfaction: “On the basis of this assumption of underemployment,MTurk samples may be an interesting population to examine research questions related to disengagement, job satisfaction, job insecurity, and fulfillment of needs. Here again, MTurk is potentially useful for surveying groups not traditionally represented in the literature MTurk samples may be an interesting population to examine research questions related to disengagement, job satisfaction, job insecurity, and fulfillment of needs. Here again, MTurk is potentially useful for surveying groups not traditionally represented in the literature.”
- They represent the leading edge of the new economy:
“… as the economy creates the need for more individuals to takeon“gig-based”jobs,perhapsMTurksampleswillincreasinglycometoreflectan emerging contingent of the working population that did not exist 10 yearsago. Given this emerging trend and the fact that MTurk samples do seem toprovide some much-needed diversity, we would argue that, although MTurkis not THE solution to our WEIRD sampling problem in the organizationalsciences, it does represent a small step in the right direction.”
The authors end with this:”With that said, samples obtained online can offer many advantages over traditional methods, but effective utilization of this research requires both creative and clever designs as well as vigilance on the part of the researcher. Crowdsourced studies present unique challenges to researchers, but then again, no one ever guaranteed that convenience samples would be entirely convenient.” BOOM!
Citation: Keith, M. G., & Harms, P. D. (2016). Is Mechanical Turk the Answer to Our Sampling Woes?. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 9(01), 162-167.