Mechanical Turk (MTurk), an online labor market created by Amazon, has recently become popular among social scientists as a source of survey and experimental data. The workers who populate this market have been assessed on dimensions that are universally relevant to understanding whether, why, and when they should be recruited as research participants. We discuss the characteristics of MTurk as a participant pool for psychology and other social sciences, highlighting the traits of the MTurk samples, why people become MTurk workers and research participants, and how data quality on MTurk compares to that from other pools and depends on controllable and uncontrollable factors.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Current Directions in Psychological Science
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Paolacci, G, & Chandler, J. (2014). Inside the Turk: Understanding Mechanical Turk as a Participant Pool. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(3), 184–188. doi:10.1177/0963721414531598