Frank who had done about 80 worth of surveys on Prolific

Frank, who had done about $80 worth of surveys on Prolific before “his” video, told The Verge that “he” also noticed a difference in the platform. Scientists conducting such surveys in the U.S. usually require a group of subjects who are native English speakers, who are not well versed in psychological research, and who, taken together, constitute a fairly representative demographic sample of the U.S. population. Prolific, a tool for behavioral scientists, had no selection tools to draw representative samples of the population for each study. Unexpectedly, scientists accustomed to getting a wide range of subjects for their research on Prolific found themselves swamped with responses from young women of Franks’ age. Prolific compensated scientists whose studies were significantly affected by the influx of female respondents, and introduced a new set of demographic selection tools. The small platform offers more transparency, promises more ethical treatment of survey participants, and higher quality subjects than alternative platforms such as Mechanical Turk. The Stanford Behavioral Laboratory is now primarily using the new, smaller Prolific platform for online surveys, Hall said. A Stanford Behavioral Lab employee wrote on the Prolific forum, “We’ve noticed a big jump in the number of participants on the platform in the U.S., from 40,000 to 80,000.” According to Vlad Chituk, a psychology student at Yale University who was conducting several pilot studies on Prolific when the wave began, the increase in research participants should yield long-term benefits. A month after the video was released, it had already been viewed 4.1 million times, prompting tens of thousands of new users to join the Prolific platform. Prolific users complained on Reddit that Frank did not encourage paid search on the crowdsourcing platform. While most of the Turkish mechanic’s clients are large corporations doing corporate research, Prolific targets academia. The first and largest such research platform is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, which launched in 2005 as a general platform for repetitive crowdsourcing tasks. Although less well-known, Prolific is part of a small collection of online tools that have changed the way companies and universities study how people think and act. For days and weeks after Franks’ video was published, researchers tried to figure out what happened to their research. According to Bradley, about 4,600 studies were disrupted because of Franks’ TikTok, or about a third of all active research on the platform during the outbreak.