A UIR is an “unpaid internet resource” and a new study examines the similarities between UIR (e.g. people who you find online who will do your survey for free) and AMT (e.g. people you find online at Mechanical Turk who will do your survey for $). The results find these two groups differ in several psychological measurements.
The UIR was recruited through “free press releases, list serves, free websites recruiting participants for research studies (CraigsList), and through social media.” Measures included demographics, a 10-item measure of depression, 7-item measure for anxiety, 4 questions about mood, then had an intervention, then answered more questions.
For this, the UIR was paid nothing and Turkers were paid ten cents. Note to researchers: that is a ridiculous payment for that amount of work. Even if it only took 3 minutes, that is equivalent to $2 per hour. And that is not fair at all.
Anyway, there are a bunch of results:
“The AMT sample reported significantly lower depression and anxiety scores (p < .001 and p < .005, respectively) and significantly higher mood, motivation, and confidence (all p < .001) compared to the UIR sample. AMT participants spent significantly less time on the site (p < .05) and were more likely to complete follow-ups than the UIR sample (p < .05). Both samples reported a significant increase in their level of confidence and motivation from pre- to post-intervention. AMT participants showed a significant increase in perceived usefulness of the intervention (p < .0001), whereas the UIR sample did not (p = .1642).”
The researchers also talk about how BOTH methods are useful for this type of research (into interventions).
Citation:Eduardo Bunge, Haley M. Cook, Melissa Bond, Rachel E. Williamson, Monique Cano, Alinne Z. Barrera, Yan Leykin, Ricardo F. Muñoz, Comparing Amazon Mechanical Turk with unpaid internet resources in online clinical trials, Internet Interventions, Available online 15 April 2018, ISSN 2214-7829, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.04.001.