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Complex tasks and motivating crowdworkers – a natural experiment
Last registered on January 14, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Complex tasks and motivating crowdworkers – a natural experiment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006744
Initial registration date
December 01, 2020
Last updated
January 14, 2021 2:57 PM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
WZB Berlin
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
WZB Berlin
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-12-03
End date
2021-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Crowdsourcing has become more popular in recent years. However, not much is known about how to motivate crowdworkers except for the use of monetary incentives. This becomes even more important when they are conducting tasks that require high engagement but for which the objective quality is difficult to assess. Such tasks might include video, picture, or text classifications and ratings. Per piece payments may increase the speed but actually reduce the quality. In an online experiment, we study the use of (performance unrelated) recognition and positive versus negative framing regarding (performance-based) payment. We use different (more or less objective) performance measures as well as measures of (objective and subjective) crowdworkers’ motivation and (subjective) job satisfaction.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Adena, Maja and Julian Harke. 2021. "Complex tasks and motivating crowdworkers – a natural experiment." AEA RCT Registry. January 14. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6744-1.1.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-12-03
Intervention End Date
2021-04-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
job satisfaction
worker motivation
performance

see the attachment for details
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We follow a 3x2 between-subjects design.
The differences in the first dimension concern the inclusion of recognition: Control treatment (C) is the treatment without any specific recognition; treatment R includes four recognition phrases; and treatment A includes four appreciation phrases.
The second dimension consist of positive versus negative framing regarding the performance dependent payment.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization by a computer.
Randomization Unit
individuals
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
no clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
around 4,500 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
around 750 individuals per treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
WZB Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2020-01-15
IRB Approval Number
2019/5/82
Analysis Plan

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