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

Monday, January 18, 2016

Anonymize Mechanical Turk Worker IDs

We recently launched a ground-breaking feature that helps protect Mechanical Turk worker identities. It has been reported in the literature that Mechanical Turk Worker IDs can be used to identify the worker. This is because Amazon uses the same value for both the Worker ID on Mechanical Turk and elsewhere on Amazon properties like product reviews.

The Anonymize Worker IDs feature anonymizes Mechanical Turk Worker IDs, as discussed below.
When you enable the Anonymize Worker IDs feature, all Worker IDs that appear in your study's downloadable CSV file will appear encrypted. For example, if the Worker ID is "ABCDEFGHJKL", it will instead appear as "TP_1UPKSI2WHSJ4". This encrypted TurkPrime Worker ID begins with letters TP and can be used in all operations on TurkPrime where an Amazon Worker ID can be used:
  • Exclude and Include Feature supports both Amazon Worker IDs and the encrypted TurkPrime Worker IDs.
  • Reusable Worker Groups can specify both Amazon Worker IDs and the encrypted TurkPrime Worker IDs.
  • Bonus Workers can specify both Amazon Worker IDs and the encrypted TurkPrime Worker IDs.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Block Multiple Responses from the Same IP Address

Block Duplicate IP Addresses

Our most popular feature request has been to allow the blocking of multiple responses from the same IP address.

MTurk workers with different MTurk Worker IDs may share an IP address. This might be for a number of reasons:

  1. Different workers may be using the same Internet connection. For example, they may both be in the same apartment, school or Starbucks and access MTurk over the same WiFi connection. 

    Some researchers will want to avoid this so that their sample is more diverse and representative of the population they are targeting.
  2. One worker takes HITs using different MTurk accounts. Nearly all researchers will want to avoid this.

When this option is selected a worker who has the same IP address as a previous workers who accepted the study will see a message that he/she is ineligible for the HIT. 

If the worker, nevertheless, accept the HIT, they will not see the hyperlink to the study. Instead they will see a message to return the HIT because another worker at that IP address has taken the HIT

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

HyperBatch - Run Batched HITs at Hyper Speeds

HyperBatch Feature 

You can now run your Amazon Mechanical Turk studies at Hyper speeds. We worked hard to make the experience identical to our classic MicroBatch option so that you simply launch your study and TurkPrime does all the heavy lifting for you.

How it works

When you launch a HyperBatch study with 100 participants, for example, your study appears on TurkPrime exactly as a standard study. However, the study, in fact, is broken down into multiple HITs with 9 or less participants. When you pause or change a study, all of the HITs associated with your study are paused or updated, respectively.

Workers who completed one HIT in the study are disabled from taking additional HITs. TurkPrime automatically assigns the Worker a Qualification that prevents them from taking your study twice.

All existing features such as secret code, include / exclude / groups etc work exactly as you expect them to.