Run Large Surveys as Multiple Time-Released Smaller HITs

Recent MTurk Price increase

As most people know by now, Mechanical Turk has recently raised its prices by 30% for survey and market research studies. Mechanical Turk has raised its prices to 40% for studies that use more than 9 participants. Studies that use 9 participants or less will pay 20%.

Our new Micro-batching feature

We have been developing a micro-batching feature which allows Requesters to break up their studies into smaller segments, and to include time intervals between the segments. We developed this feature to increase sample representativeness. This feature can also save 50% from the upcoming MTurk price increase.

The Problem

Here is why this feature is important for data quality. If a Requester launches a study on Monday afternoon, there will be a bias in the sample toward people who are not working on a weekday (unemployed, stay at home parents etc.)

The Solution

Micro-batching solves this problem. With this feature, a study that is open to, for example, 140 Workers can be set to sample Workers every 6 hours for 1 week. This HIT will be open to 5 people every six hours. Workers will be prevented from participating in more than one study segment. The time interval between batches and the sample size of each batch are fully customizable. This effectively means that if the time interval is set to zero, there will be no difference between a micro-batched HIT and a regular HIT. Except that it will cost 20% instead of 40% under the current MTurk price increase policy.

Additional Benefits

The micro-batching feature will save Requesters 50% of the price increase (MTurk fees will be 20% as opposed to 40%), because each batch can consist of 9 participants or less.