Practice-based considerations for using multi-stage survey design to reach special populations on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

Victoria Anne Springer, Peter J. Martini, Samuel C. Lindsey, I. Stephanie Vezich


The purpose of this article is to provide practice-based insight into the use of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) online crowdsourced labor market to conduct survey research with targeted or “special” populations. We begin with an overview of MTurk, followed by a review of the use of MTurk in the social sciences, the multi-stage survey technique that has been implemented in our research, and the considerations that have informed our methodological choices. This article is based on the successful use of this approach in our work since January 2013 in both academic and applied research.


MTurk, Mechanical Turk, survey, research, hidden population, screening

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