Dave Rand on the Online Laboratory and Experimental Social Science
"The internet provides an unprecedented opportunity for social scientists to recruit a large pool of subjects quickly, cheaply, and virtually effortlessly. Online labor markets, such as Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), is one place where social scientists can easily find subjects to participate in unique cooperation studies in exchange for cash (where pay depends on choices in the study, rather just a flat rate). These labor markets also facilitate field studies, where ‘subjects’ are unaware they are in an experiment, but instead think they are just completing normal work tasks.
Dave Rand—a Cooperation Fellow at the Berkman Center, as well as a Harvard’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics—describes designing and running experiments using MTurk, some successful experiments, and the lessons learned thus far." (http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/mediaberkman/2010/11/03/dave-rand-on-the-online-laboratory-taking-experimental-social-science-onto-the-internet/)