Using on-line panel services for getting respondents for your survey

Amazon's Mechanical Turk Service

Amazon's Mechanical Turk service has become an increasingly popular way for researchers to conduct online experiments. Anyone with access to the Internet can use the service as a way to draw respondents for any type of web-based survey or experiment. It's a relatively low cost way to engage a diverse set of respondents in a short period of time.

MTurkTo use the service, you first need to open an account as a requestor so that you can create a path between the MTurk workers who want to participate in your study and your online questionnaire. The links shown below will help you learn more about setting up and using your MTurk requester account. The Survey Research Center (SRC) does not endorse MTurk, nor does it receive any remuneration related to anyone's use of the service.

This webpage and the links provided below have been posted in response to requests by Princeton University students for information about how to use the MTurk service for their research projects. The SRC has also created a discussion board that students can use to get answers to questions about the service or to learn from the experiences of other students and faculty members who are MTurk users.

Here are some helpful links to guide you through using Mturk for your Qualtrics survey and how to link them.

Basic Questions and Answers

Qualtrics and Mturk

How to link your Qualtrics survey to Amazon Mturk

Mturk tutorials

Additional information

Sheehan, Kim B., and Matthew Pittman. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for Academics: The HIT Handbook for Social Science Research. Melvin & Leigh, Publishers, 2016.

Stewart, Neil, Christoph Ungemach, Adam JL Harris, Daniel M. Bartels, Ben R. Newell, Gabriele Paolacci, and Jesse Chandler. "The Average Laboratory Samples a Population of 7,300 Amazon Mechanical Turk Workers." Judgment and Decision Making 10.5 (2015): 479-491.

Woo, Sang Eun, Melissa Keith, and Meghan A. Thornton. "Amazon Mechanical Turk for Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Advantages, Challenges, and Practical Recommendations." Industrial and Organizational Psychology 8.2 (2015): 171-179.

Chandler, Jesse, Pam Mueller, and Gabriele Paolacci. "Nonnaïveté Among Amazon Mechanical Turk Workers: Consequences and Solutions for Behavioral Researchers." Behavior Research Methods 46.1 (2014): 112-130.

Paolacci, Gabriele, and Jesse Chandler. "Inside the Turk Understanding Mechanical Turk as a Participant Pool." Current Directions in Psychological Science 23.3 (2014): 184-188.

Berinsky, Adam J., Michele F. Margolis, and Michael W. Sances. "Separating the Shirkers from the Workers? Making Sure Respondents Pay Attention on Self‐Administered Surveys." American Journal of Political Science 58.3 (2014): 739-753.

Berinsky, Adam J. Gregory A. Huber, and Gabriel S. Lenz. "Evaluating Online Labor Markets for Experimental's Mechanical Turk." Political Analysis 20.3 (2012): 351-368.

Berinsky, Adam J. Gregory A. Huber, and Gabriel S. Lenz. "Using Mechanical Turk as a Subject Recruitment Tool for Experimental Research" (2011).

Rand, David G. "The Promise of Mechanical Turk: How Online Labor Markets Can Help Theorists Run Behavioral Experiments." Journal of Theoretical Biology 299 (2012): 172-179.

Buhrmester, Michael, Tracy Kwang, and Samuel D. Gosling. "Amazon's Mechanical Turk: A New Source of Inexpensive, Yet High-Quality, Data?." Perspectives on Psychological Science 6.1 (2011): 3-5.

Horton, John J., David G. Rand, and Richard J. Zeckhauser. "The Online Laboratory: Conducting Experiments in a Real Labor Market." Experimental Economics 14 (2011): 399-425.

Mims, Christopher. January 3, 2010. "How Mechanical Turk is Broken." Technology Review.

Caulfield, Brian. June 15, 2011. "Amazon Mechanical Turk Will Hook You Up With Porn Jobs That Pay Pennies." Forbes Magazine.

"Scientifically Speaking, Nice Guys Do Not Actually Finish Last." Gizmodo.