Do not fear zombie scientists and their zombie papers

October 31, 2016

Horrific Abstract We say: Don't fear zombie scientists and their zombie papers! While they have done great harm in the past, there is hope for the future. With the internet at our disposal and new tools for scientific research (like Prolific 😉 ), it will become easier to double-check claims and replicate experiments.🤓 As a result, zombie science will slowly but surely die out. Today's post is inspired by Leonid Schneider's spine-chilling article). Credit where...

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Celebrating our Oxford community! Congrats for being ranked as #1 in the world, Oxford Uni (and we have big plans for Prolific – stay tuned)

September 22, 2016

Times Higher Education have just announced that Oxford is the first UK university to top the world university rankings. Congrats, University of Oxford! We're delighted to be part of this amazing community. 🎓 🤓 Our community Oxford is where Prolific was born, and where it has made its first baby steps. At Oxford University Innovation and Saïd Business School, we've met many great founders and entrepreneurs, like the guys from Esplorio (an app that beautifully...

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What is the future of participant recruitment?
A user interview with researchers from University College London

March 8, 2016

A couple months ago, I had to opportunity to meet with a group of five researchers at University College London (UCL), who are currently using Prolific for their research. Our aim was to discuss one overarching question: “Where do you think participant recruitment is headed in your field?” Meet the Researchers The conversation started with a round of introductions in the office of Dr. David Shanks, the Head of Division of Psychology and Languages at...

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New prescreening filter: naïve vs. experienced participants

February 15, 2016

When participants take part in online research they get repeatedly exposed to research materials. This can lead to the problem of 'nonnaïveté', which has been identified as one key challenge for experimental online research. Chandler et al. (2015) have found that nonnaïveté can reduce effect sizes and undermine statistical power. Starting today, you can filter Prolific participants based on the number of studies they have previously completed. You can now recruit people that have done,...

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The Problem of Common Method Bias

November 19, 2015

A concern that often arises among researchers who run studies with single-source, self-report, cross-sectional designs is that of common method bias (also known as common method variance). Specifically, the concern is that when the same method is used to measure multiple constructs, this may result in spurious method-specific variance that can bias observed relationships between the measured constructs (Schaller, Patil, & Malhotra, 2015). Before we dive into the types of bias that may result from...

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Minimising Noise and Maximising Your Data Quality: The Case of Satisficing

July 29, 2015

Participants may not always read or follow instructions as carefully as we would like it. Because let’s face it: Just like everybody else, even the most diligent participants sometimes get tired or distracted. As a result, they may engage in satisficing as a means to decrease effort and conserve their cognitive resources (Krosnick, 1991). Satisficing refers to the tendency to provide a minimally acceptable response rather than the optimal response or solution. Unfortunately, when participants...

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A Crowdsourcing Platform Designed for Scientific Research

July 23, 2015

As a junior psychological scientist I am constantly looking for ways to recruit participants. While I have used online recruitment platforms in the past with reasonable success, I’ve always mused about some of the obvious drawbacks. Why is it so hard to prescreen? How on earth do they permit this exploitative reward structure (or rather lack of reward structure)? Why are some still in beta after 10 years? Let me provide one concrete example of...

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How many participants shall I recruit? Can I “oversample” my study?

May 22, 2015

Cofounder Katia shares what she learned from experts on Twitter As a PhD student in Psychology I often face the question: How many participants shall I recruit? The standard way of determining the required sample size for a study is to run a power analysis (usually done with G*Power; R lovers use the pwr package). Calculating the required sample size involves knowing the effect size of the effect you're investigating. However, it is often difficult...

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Are you a British employee?
Donate 5 minutes to help science and a charity

December 10, 2014

Here’s the deal: Take part in a scientific online study (80p for 5mins) by a researcher from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, and we’ll donate the proceeds from this study to charity! We’ll donate not only your 80p (if you choose to), but also our earnings from this study! It’s that easy: Sign up, answer a couple of demographic questions, and you’re ready to do the study. Click here to participate. To decide which...

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Upcoming feature: Flexible Prescreening

December 1, 2014

Flexibly filter participants by *any* demographic (not just our default ones) We have some delightful news for researchers: Soon you will be able to flexibly recruit participants based on any demographic you are looking for. Yes, that’s right: We’re moving beyond the default demographics that are stored in our system (gender, age, country of birth, nationality, ethnicity, native language). In the future, you can request any demographic from us and our software will be able...

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Prolific is now part of Oxford University Incubator

September 10, 2014

It’s time for a High Five! As of today, we’ve officially joined the ISIS Software Incubator, part of the University of Oxford. We’re delighted to touch base with other exciting start-ups in the programme. A great chapter lies ahead! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more news, and you may also happen to come across new offers or prize draws! :-)

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Participation in Prolific studies is now open to everyone.

August 25, 2014

While we were getting started and ironing out kinks we limited registration to participants with academic emails (* Today, we’re happy to announce that registration will now be open to everyone - all you need is a Facebook account! Just click “Login with Facebook”, verify your email address and you’re good to go. Why do you need a Facebook account? In short, Facebook was the easiest way for us to get started with authentication. It’s...

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Running a longitudinal study

August 3, 2014

You can now run a longitudinal design on Prolific! Here are some tips on how to get started. The first study in the series You don't have to do anything different when setting up your first study. You can follow the instructions in "Running an online study on Prolific Academic". If you have multiple conditions make sure that you record the participant IDs of the participants who are assigned to each condiditon. The follow up...

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