Tips from my online survey research in 2018

I have a special affinity for quantitative research. Specifically: I LOVE online survey work! It’s a very efficient method to gather lots of data at scale that is almost automatically formatted for easy analysis and visualization.

Even though I have past experience with designing, collecting and analyzing survey data around current events, politics and marketing, my academically-focused work this year really sharpened my survey skills. I used Qualtrics almost exclusively as the online platform for creating and administering surveys, and I recruited larger samples than I ever have before using Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), Qualtrics‘ own panel aggregation and a study pool run by Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Behavioral and Decision Research (CBDR). My collaborators and I also recruited participants through US-based Survey Monkey; Prolific Academic, a UK-based company that also recruits US-based workers; and QQ and SoJump survey platforms based in China.

The increased stakes and many unknowns I encountered as my research evolved led me to reach out on social media, at workshops and in my own labs for help and for new ideas. I also reached out to MTurk workers for advice on fine-tuning my surveys, and I signed up myself as an MTurk worker to see how it looks from the other side. Below, I share some of what I learned during this year’s academic work that may also benefit your own survey research.

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