Amazon Mechanical Turk ("MTurk") is a platform that researchers can use to recruit participants for studies. I did a fair number of MTurk studies during my PhD, and know a bunch of details about how to use it that a newcomer wouldn't. I currently have some time to run interesting EA-driven surveys on MTurk! So my question is: 

What questions would you ask on MTurk? 

Notes:

  • This is a survey of the (usually U.S.) general population. You can access more specific subsets of the population, but that isn't the primary use case.
  • Surveys should be under 10 mins
  • Pay is ~$7-11 / hour / person + 20% platform fees
  • If you want this to be publishable in a conference / journal via an academic affiliation: You'll need (funding*1.08) to pass it through a university as "gift funding". You'll also need IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval, which will take ~2 months for a new protocol if all goes well. You'll also need a set of questions that can be framed as useful research, such that the work can be accepted at a conference / journal (though your academic affiliate should be able to help you with that). This is way more work for your academic affiliate, for the price of peer-reviewed mainstream approval!

I think it could be useful to have a community-constructed list of questions, such that anyone who happens to have time / funding / expertise could run any studies they think are interesting. If you'd like me specifically to run something (I'm mostly interested in questions pertaining to existential risk), especially if you have funding, please comment here or email me at vlgates@stanford.edu. Excited to hear from you!

3 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 5:27 AM
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I’d recommend altering the title slightly, because it’s not clear from the main page that this is a live offer. Instead, it reads as a request for advice or a hypothetical. Cool offer!

Awesome, thanks! Title is updated. 

That’s a good update, thank you!