Studying infants using MTurk

Yep, it can be done.

“We investigated whether the online platform, Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), could be used as a resource to more easily recruit and measure the behavior of infant populations. Using a looking time paradigm, with users’ webcams we recorded how long infants aged 5 to 8 months attended while viewing children’s television programs.”

Here’s the procedure:

” After accepting the HIT, participants were directed to a webpage that provided an information sheet and asked for their informed consent. Consent was obtained via online checkbox and button press. This was followed by an evaluation of the suitability of participants’ computers, software, webcams, speakers, and internet connectivity. To do this, we recorded a brief 5-s video of caregivers and their infants and asked them to move and make sounds. This video was then played back to caregivers, and they were asked to check a box to indicate whether or not they were able to see and hear themselves. If they indicated they could not, they were thanked and excluded from participation. Otherwise, they were directed to a new webpage instructing them to position their infants on their laps in the center of the screen and in a well-lit room. This was specified to ensure that infants’ eyes were visible while recording the webcam videos. Once they were in a comfortable position, caregivers were instructed to press a “start” button to commence the experiment. Then 1 of 10 pseudorandomly selected movies was presented. Afterward, participants completed a short demographic questionnaire from which the ages and language backgrounds of their infants were obtained.”

Read it all here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022096516302909

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