News FocusHuman Subject Research

Social Science for Pennies

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  21 Oct 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6054, pp. 307
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6054.307

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Social scientists nowadays are ordering research subjects through The company runs an online marketplace called Mechanical Turk for people across the world available to do work on computers. (The name is a reference to an 18th century chess-playing "machine" that actually worked by virtue of a man hidden inside.) For tiny sums, anyone can hire people to perform almost any kind of simple task, such as tagging items in images. It's predicted that many more social science papers using MTurk will appear in the coming years.