Playful Surveys: Easing Challenges of Human Subject Research with Online Crowds


A major challenge of human subject research lies in motivating enough subjects to participate in studies. Traditionally, participants are extrinsically motivated, for example by getting paid for their contribution. Together with the effort of organizing and supervising experiments, this renders human subject research either very expensive, or reduces the validity due to small sample sizes. This work describes the method of utilizing playful web-based surveys to intrinsically motivate contributors to participate in studies and illustrates the approach with two examples: a study of the effect of retouching portraits on the perception of human faces and according estimates of wealth and success that was distributed via a single announcement on a social network and attracted more than 2400 participants within a five months period, as well as a study on the perception of a questionnaire in the form of a playful survey as compared to a more traditional online questionnaire, which showed that participants are more likely to recommend playful surveys to friends than normal surveys.

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@inproceedings{Krause2012PlayfulSE, title={Playful Surveys: Easing Challenges of Human Subject Research with Online Crowds}, author={Markus Krause and Jan Smeddinck and Aneta Takhtamysheva and Velislav Markov and Nina Runge}, year={2012} }