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Ethical and Practical Considerations For Compensation of Crowdsourced Research Participants

document Distributed Knowledge, Open Innovation
Summary The Human Computer Interaction community, like all research communities, strives to maintain ecological validity. However, recent papers suggest that much research in the social sciences use non-representative samples. In an attempt to increase diversity and lower costs, many HCI studies now utilize Amazon Mechanical Turk to crowdsourced user studies. This position paper attempts to show that the pay these workers receive presents an issue under the National Research Act of 1974, and that said low pay also has a homogenizing effect on the Mechanical Turk participant pool.
Description If researchers intend to use crowdsourcing tools like Mechanical Turk to try and make their samples more diverse, then low Turker pay might actually be harming their cause, leading a disproportionate number of poor Indian users
to participate in Mechanical Turk studies.

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