Effects of Participant Displeasure on the Social-Psychological Study of Power on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

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2019

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Rinderknecht, R. G. (2019). Effects of Participant Displeasure on the Social-Psychological Study of Power on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. SAGE Open. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244019876268

Abstract

Recall-based power priming is a popular research design that is widely disliked by Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) workers. This article assesses the potential consequences of such displeasure through a conceptual replication of Fast et al. on MTurk. Specifically, this article assesses the extent to which recall-based priming can elicit a sense of high power and positive emotion. Findings indicate that being primed with a sense of high power through recall does not elicit the expected positive change in emotion. Findings also indicate that recall-based priming is a less effective manipulation of power than an alternative priming method with which participants were more willing to participate. Unlike the recall-based prime, this alternative prime also replicated Fast et al.’s original findings. These results are attributed to the incompatibility between feeling powerful and participating in a disliked study design. Findings highlight the importance of addressing worker displeasure in power research, and this article suggests how displeasure can be avoided as well as how such displeasure may be a detriment to other areas of research.

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Partial funding for Open Access provided by the UMD Libraries' Open Access Publishing Fund.

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