Mechanical Turks are people that have signed up to complete surveys for money as part of Amazon.com's crowdsourcing marketplace. This is an alternative to the Lab's online panel. Some researchers find it particularly useful for piloting studies. Download the Mechanical Turks User Guide (pdf).
- Cheap (can do studies for less than $1/participant)
- Large subject pool (100,000+)
- Reliability of participants varies
- Cannot do follow up studies
- Surveys are advertised to participants as work (focus on the $ return) as opposed to research (benefit to society). The site is used to advertise a multitude of tasks beyond those for research purposes so the participants (called Workers) may treat the studies differently.
United States: 46.80%
More figures are posted on this website.
In January 2012, SPSP (the Society for Personality and Social Psychology) hosted a symposium on MTurk. Those presentations are now available on a blog called Experimental Turk.