How to recruit subjects online?

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Some ideas/tips on subject recruitment.


"Free" methods

  1. CraigsList - Regarding CraigsList, we have found it VERY useful for recruiting subjects for our studies. They have so many cites across the US and worldwide that you can approach a more representative sample by placing ads on multiple cities. In principle, it should work, because a) the potential subject is already on the internet anyway, and b) doing an psychology experiment is nominally more interesting than reading crappy Craigslist advertisements. (HOWEVER, it is important to note that posting in multiple cities is against craigslist policy and they can and will delete your postings if they discover you have been doing this - just a warning - happened to me!)
  2. Fogster is another web-based classified ads resource like CraigsList, but Fogster also publishes your ad in various San Francisco Bay area newspapers.
  3. Yahoo classified ads
  4. Put a link to your study on websites that list web-based experiments, such as
    Psychological Research on the Net
    SPN listings of Social Psychology studies online
    Online Psychology Research UK
  5. You can also advertise your study on various listserves within your area, within psychology, within other academic fields, or within the larger population, anywhere there is a listserve.
  6. You can also recruit subjects from your school's subject pool. Instead of having the subjects come into the laboratory and take paper/pencils studies, you direct them to your study's online webpage instead.
  7. Consider putting a "Do you want to be contacted for future studies?" checkbox in your study so that you have a ready pool of email addresses of people to contact for future studies. However, care should be taken as to subjects who are deceived and therefore would come into future studies with suspicion.

"Advertising" methods

  1. Google
  2. Yahoo
  3. Facebook - You can restrict your ads to a specific population, or post on several networks for a more representative sample. The population is skewed toward undergraduate students, so it will unlikely be a truly representative sample. There are multiple pricing options and flexibility, such as pay-per-click, pay-per-impression, per day, and so forth, so it can be very cost-effective.
  4. MySpace
  5. Hyves
  6. Orkut

"Panel" methods

What are Panels? Some online companies specialize in having already recruited participants for online studies so you pay the company to access their panel of participants.
  1. Knowledge Networks - expensive but truly representative sample.
  2. Study Response Network - less expensive, but less representative sample.

External Links

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