Research Compensation and Lottery: An Online Empirical Pilot Study
- 176 Downloads
Recruiting participants for a research project can be challenging. Incentives, particularly monetary incentives, have been shown to increase response rates. Offering a monetary incentive for participation in a research study can become very costly for the investigators. For this reason some researchers, including graduate students involved in under-funded projects, have resorted to lottery compensation to attract participants. From an ethical standpoint, all participants in a research study should be treated equally and fairly. Compensation lotteries, however, undermine equal treatment of all participants (notion of justice) because they prevent equal distribution of rewards. In this pilot study, we were interested in exploring and understanding the prevalence and determinants of the use of lottery compensation method by graduate students from Canadian universities as a way of compensating participants in their research studies. A sample of 50 students from five major Canadian universities participated. Three methods of compensation were identified in this study: cash reimbursement, grade mark and lottery draw for a prize. Results show that the availability of funding is the main determinant of the use of lottery compensation: students with sufficient funds were more likely to use cash incentives, while those without adequate funds were more likely to use lottery draws. Ethical implications are further discussed.
KeywordsLottery Compensation Gambling Ethics
- Bourget, D. (2003). Characteristics of 75 gambling-related suicides in Quebec. CPA Bulletin, December. Retrieved from http://www.responsiblegambling.org/articles/characteristics_of_75_gambling_related_suicides.pdf.
- Brown, J. S., Schonfeld, T. L., & Gordon, B. C. (2006). You may have already won: the use of lottery payments in research. Ethics & Human Subjects, 28, 12–16.Google Scholar
- Riutort, M., & Small, S. E. (1985). Working with assaulted immigrant women: A handbook for lay counsellors. Toronto, ON: Education Wife Assault.Google Scholar
- Room, R., Turner, N. E., & Ialomiteanu, A. (1999). Community effects of the opening of the Niagara Casino: a first report. Toronto: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.Google Scholar
- Saik, J. (2006). The use of lotteries as recruitment tools in human subjects research. Maryland, USA: National Institute of Health.Google Scholar
- Turner, N.E. (2000). Randomness, does it matter? Electronic Journal of Gambling Issues. Retrieved from http://www.camh.net/egambling/issue2/research/.
- Zangeneh, M., & Turner N. (2004) Participant compensation and its implications. In Abbott, M. (Ed.), Gambling and problem gambling in New Zealand: Taking stock and moving forward on policy, practice and research & international think tank on presenting gambling populations and first contact services (New Zealand). eCOMMUNITY: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.Google Scholar