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Welcome, oh savvy intellectual, to my Prolific surveys review! Learn what Prolific research is, what they do, and why you should or should not join the program.
What Is Prolific?
Prolific is based in England, but people from the USA can sign up, as well. I’m in Ohio, and I am a regular participant.
Seventeen people are the team that runs Prolific, which was started to help match quality researchers to quality participants, i.e., survey takers.
You’ve tried other survey programs and applications; you get kicked from too many surveys because you aren’t quite the right match. Prolific goes through great lengths to make sure that doesn’t happen. The result is fewer survey opportunities, but most of them are valid. I have yet to be kicked from one!
Prolific offers researchers and participants the opportunity to increase knowledge of human behavior and values in order to better the productive efforts of companies and the environment.
It won’t take too many surveys for you to realize these are fairly unique quality surveys. Prolific says, Our mission is to make trustworthy data more accessible to everybody – from individuals to businesses to governments – and facilitate world-changing research. … At the core of Prolific is the aim to improve human knowledge. Every decision we make ultimately works towards this goal.
What Is Expected Of Participants
When you first go to the Prolific website you’ll notice two big options. One is for companies and research teams looking for participants. Since you’re here, I’m going to assume the other option is more to your taste – Participants. Sign up or log in.
If you are new to Prolific, you’ll be asked to fill out a slew of questions about yourself. Make sure to answer them all; the information is used to find the perfect surveys for you to fill out. Be accurate, don’t waste anyone’s time getting unfit surveys.
You don’t have to have an extended education, e.g., a degree to take surveys. Studies pay a minimum of $6.50 per hour. This does not mean you can spend three hours on one survey while you watch movies. The estimated time to take the survey is provided and you are paid accordingly.
Surveys and studies are similar. You answer questions about yourself and your perceptions of things regarding scientific research, new products or public opinion. There are also games that pop up from time to time. I haven’t played any.
Most studies are short, just like surveys, however, they can be hours long. Some are multi-part and can go on for days. You only participate in the ones you choose.
It’s rare you’ll go to the site and see a list of surveys and studies like with other survey sites, such as PrizeRebel. You will receive emails letting you know when a survey or study is available for which you are a good match.
Be sure to carefully set up your email settings. Surveys and studies get filled up quickly, so if you get an email that interests you, jump on it quickly.
Qualifications Prolific Values
Prolific uses the NEAT acronym to lump their desired qualities for participants. Let’s take a look.
On the initial questionnaire you fill out, you are asked if you use any other survey/study programs or apps. They have a few listed, plus the Other option.
The naive person doesn’t belong to 40 other survey programs. People with too much survey experience know how to detect trick questions and give answers easily that a more naive person would have to think about.
On the other hand, someone who has no prior survey experience won’t understand the legal processes involved.
Prolific strives for the happy medium, no jaded experts and no absolute beginners.
The engaged participant is one who is diligent enough to answer all questions thoroughly with thoughtful answers. They stick with long term studies they’ve agreed to participate in, and they contact the researcher with any problems.
Engaged participants care about the quality of their answers and pay attention to details.
Attentive participants pay close attention to what the survey is asking. Questions are sometimes asked that are a little silly or weird just to make sure the participant is paying attention.
There are often lists of answers to choose from after a question. People get used to seeing these long lists and realize the question probably wants to know what state they’re in. The attentive person reads the question anyway and notices it says, “Please look at the list below and select Kentucky as your answer.”
The wonderful thing about honest survey sites, such as Prolific, is the anonymity of your answers. You don’t want it all over the Internet that you have diarrhea and spent three years in prison.
We expect survey sites to keep our personal data private! They, in turn, expect us to give honest answers and have only one account.
Prolific knows your name and personal information. They do not know the answers you give the researchers. The researchers know you are a 40-year-old black man who smokes, but they don’t know your name or address.
Do feel free to report any suspicious questions that might be seeking your exact contact information!
Naive, Engaged, Attentive, Trustworthy. Do you meet those qualifications?
Pros and Cons
Like all programs and websites, Prolific has its bad and good qualities. Here are my thoughts.
- Researchers are carefully screened for quality and trustworthiness.
- Being kicked from a survey or study is extremely rare.
- Payment for taking surveys is guaranteed.
- The privacy of participants is closely guarded.
- Participation actually helps people.
- The quantity of surveys is limited.
- There is no referral program (as of March 2019).
- Surveys and studies get filled up quickly, so you need to act fast.
- PayPal is the only payment option.
Your Thoughts Matter
Even though I get no compensation if you join Prolific through the link on this page, I aim to present information that may be beneficial to my readers. You don’t come here to be bored. Let me know how I’m doing.
Does Prolific sound interesting to you? The more I’ve learned about Prolific the more I respect it. Do you have experience with Prolific or other survey sites?
Let me know what your ideas and questions are in the comments below!