Link To TurkPrime

How to run successful experiments and get the most out of Amazon's Mechanical Turk

Friday, February 20, 2015

Why use TurkPrime Panels?



MTurk Requesters are often interested in studying specific groups of people. For example, a researcher may be interested in men over 40, republicans, people who are concerned about the cleanliness of sponges, or cancer survivors. TurkPrime Panels utilizes various techniques that make the process of acquiring specific MTurk samples faster and cheaper. We virtually guarantee to be able to get panels more economically than most Requesters are able to do on their own. Additionally, we can get the panels a lot faster, and eliminate the considerable amount of manual work that is required to obtain panels.



For example, let’s say that a Requester is interested in obtaining a panel of 100 Asian unmarried females for a ten minute study. This panel has an incidence rate on MTurk of about 1.5%, which means that roughly 3 out of 200 MTurk workers are Asian unmarried females. Normally a Requester would launch a two-step study. In the first study they would ask Workers for their demographic background and then, having identified the Workers who fit their criteria, invite those Workers for the second study.

To get 100 people from a 1.5% incidence group it would be necessary to run at least 7000 Workers in the first study. At 10 cents per worker that would be $770 in Worker + MTurk fees. What makes this approach even more difficult is that getting 7000 people is virtually impossible on MTurk for 10 cents. If a Requester can manage getting that many workers at such a low price, it is still likely to take a very long time, possibly over 1 month.  There is also a considerable amount of manual labor that would go into the process. For example, without the use of the API, each Worker would have to be contacted individually and given a bonus so that they can be asked if they want to participate in the second study. An additional problem is that the response rate for the second study participation can be low. This adds to the expense, and also raises methodological concerns relating to drop-out rate.    

TurkPrime Panels utilizes a number of approaches to significantly speed-up the process, and to make MTurk panel acquisition a lot cheaper. We can typically obtain a panel of 100 Asian unmarried females within a few days for $600, including the Worker payment of $1 (we pay Workers a minimum of $6 per hour, although Requesters are welcome to set their own higher pay rate) and MTurk fees.


For any questions relating to TurkPrime Panels including pricing for specific panels please contact us.