Behavior Research Methods

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 1023–1031

Reputation as a sufficient condition for data quality on Amazon Mechanical Turk


DOI: 10.3758/s13428-013-0434-y

Cite this article as:
Peer, E., Vosgerau, J. & Acquisti, A. Behav Res (2014) 46: 1023. doi:10.3758/s13428-013-0434-y


Data quality is one of the major concerns of using crowdsourcing websites such as Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to recruit participants for online behavioral studies. We compared two methods for ensuring data quality on MTurk: attention check questions (ACQs) and restricting participation to MTurk workers with high reputation (above 95% approval ratings). In Experiment 1, we found that high-reputation workers rarely failed ACQs and provided higher-quality data than did low-reputation workers; ACQs improved data quality only for low-reputation workers, and only in some cases. Experiment 2 corroborated these findings and also showed that more productive high-reputation workers produce the highest-quality data. We concluded that sampling high-reputation workers can ensure high-quality data without having to resort to using ACQs, which may lead to selection bias if participants who fail ACQs are excluded post-hoc.


Online research Amazon Mechanical Turk Data quality Reputation 

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eyal Peer
    • 1
  • Joachim Vosgerau
    • 2
  • Alessandro Acquisti
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of Business AdministrationBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael
  2. 2.School of Economics and ManagementTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Heinz CollegeCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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