🤔 Ask Anything Thread (Newbie Friendly)

Hi @Emily_Stokes , I don’t think that would be possible. If you plan to run the future studies on Prolific, it would be okay, but you can’t collect information to contact people outside of the Prolific system (see relevant help page here)
Hope that helps,

I want to take a survey of managers.
My study requires responses of managers of Blockchain implemented firms. Firms of my interest are from North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.

Please let me know, if is it the right platform to find my respondents?
I will be very grateful for your response.

Hi Umang


From my personal point of view (I am not a Prolific employee), I am afraid my initial feeling is I don’t think that Prolific is the platform to find your respondents. However, Prolific may be the platform you are looking for, and if you have funding you can perform a preliminary study to find out. Here’s how:

Prolific has a large number (more than a quarter of a million) of participants active in the last 90 days.

Prolific use pre-screeners or pre-screening questions to narrow down the range of participants to the demographic that you are seeking - managers of block chain implemented firms.

There is a prescreener for employment sector
Which of the following best describes the sector you primarily work in?
But none of the options mention block chain.

There is also a prescreener
Which of the following best describes your role at work?
With “Upper Management” and “Middle Management” in which there are 11,000 participants. Adding “Junior Management” and “Consultant” there are 20,000 participants who might be called “management.”

( Alternatively you could use the following prescreener
Do you have any experience being in a management position?
to which more than 72 thousand have answered yes, but that would include those who were managers only in the past — So I would not use that.)

You would then need to carry out our study in two stages: an initial prescreening study, and the subsequent main study.

The prescreening study may focus on current managers (20,000) to find managers who work in blockchain implemented firms. If you use a simple yes or no question participants may be tempted to say yes so as to get invited to the main subsequent study so it may be an idea to ask something like "What technologies are central to your firms business?
Internet Technology
DNA manipulation technology
Metal machining technology
Semiconductor Technology
Etc maybe a list of 10 technologies or more including
And pay a fairly large number of respondents a small amount of money to respond. Since there would be only one question in your survey, this might be as low as 15 or 20 cents.

However, in order to hope to reach those that work in blockchain implemented firms you may need to pay a lot of managers to answer your survey and then only find a very small number of such persons to invite back to your subsequent main survey.

In order to find out, you could invest (or gamble) on an initial study inviting 1000 managers to answer your single question technology survey paying them 20 cents each. This would cost you 200 + 66 (Prolific’s fees) = 266 dollars. Then you could see if there were enough respondents in those 1000 managers that use blockchain. You may find that there are plenty within the first 1000 to implement the main part of your study using the “custom whitelist” functionality to invite only those that responded that they were using block chain.

But you may find that there are very few using blockchain, in which case you may have wasted your 266 dollars.

You could start by testing a smaller number of managers e.g. 100. This would only cost you about 26 dollars.

Alternatively please see this thread in response to a researcher who was attempting to target managers in healthcare, where I recommended attempting to get in touch with such participants more directly such as by using Linkedin

I don’t mean to be bleak. I don’t know how common “Blockchain implemented firms” are. Perhaps they are more common than I am imagining.


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Hello, I have a question regarding refunds. I am planning to recruit 90 participants, but we will also send the invitation to participate out to people who have taken part in a previous study (not through Prolific). If I set up our goal of 90 participants here on Prolific, but only use (for example) 80 of these spaces because 10 from the previous study fill out the survey not through Prolific, will we get a full refund for these 10 spots incl. the service fee?
Many thanks!

Hi Lisa and welcome to the community :slight_smile:!

The answer is yes. You can stop (or pause) your study prematurely, prior to it reaching the full 90 places. Please see

However, issues to bear in mind are

  1. Prolific studies can fill up really quickly because their are more than a quarter of a million active (in the last 90 days) participants.
  2. If the places have participants that have started the study, then it is only fair, and Prolific policy, to pay them for completion.

I hope I am understanding your question and that the above helps, a little.


Thanks for the quick and helpful reply! Can I just double check that not just the funds for participant payment, but also the respective amount of service fees will be refunded?


I have a question about the timing of when studies become visible to participants. Suppose I were to run a pre-screening survey and I have a list of Prolific ID’s that I want to show a follow-up experiment to. I restrict the survey to a specific group of respondents using a ‘Custom Allowlist’ based on their Prolific ID.

When the survey is published, will it become visible on participants’ “Studies” tab? Even if it does not show up immediately, will it become visible to everyone in the study at the same time?

I appreciate any thoughts/answers to this question that people might have. Thanks so much!

Hi @Marshall_Drake , studies should show up when you create them! If there’s a custom allowlist it would be shown to those participants and if you add additional ID numbers it would then be shown to them as well. I hope that answers your question.

Hi Lisa

Please do feel very free to double check m(._.)m

The funds (participant payment and Prolific service fees) are only removed from your balance when the participants are paid. So, so long as there are places which have not been started when you stop the test, then the corresponding participant payment and Prolific service fees will not be subtracted from your account balance, as far as I am aware, to a high degree of certainty.


This was helpful, thank you!


I am planning a semi-interactive experiment, where the payoff depends on the actions of two participants. Each participant should finish the decision stages that can take 20-40 minutes, and then they are matched with the one other participant that has completed the previous stages. Since there might be some waiting period before the next participant finishes, I wonder if I should worry about the times I publish the study, so that I get enough participants to minimise the waiting time (we need around 200 subjects)?

Also, if I choose to split it in several stages, how can I prohibit people who have already participated?

Thanks in advance!


I had recently signed up and I haven’t gotten any studies within a month a believe . Could anything be wrong with my account?

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Hi @Jay_L,

This is a forum for researchers. As a participant on Prolific, you could ask your questions here https://www.reddit.com/r/ProlificAc/ on Reddit. There are already lots of “No studies” threads on Reddit. You can check them out.

Prolific also has explained why this might happen as well here I'm not receiving any studies – Prolific Participant.

From my experience, you have to stay alert and be quick to steal a place in a study :joy: because the demand is high but the supply is not always.


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Welcome back :slight_smile:

I am sorry I did not respond sooner :pray:

Regarding time of day

Josh gives the data regarding the number of studies and number of participants at different times of day here;

And Levan gives interesting data on when you may expect the best participants or the highest attention from participants as a function of time of day here

It is very easy to split your study into several stages and want to prohibit people who already participated simply by using the “Duplicate” function from the top left “ACTION” menu in your study. This will automatically add a blacklist (removable) of those who have already completed the study to the duplicate study. You can also add custom blacklists (and whitelists) of Prolific IDs of your own making too.

I hope that helps.



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It does, thanks!


Hi @Josh, I’m about to follow this process to test out a new study and I was wondering, even though my testers will return their submission as you explain here, do I still need to upload money to Prolific for the study to be available to them in the first place? If so I can do that, I just wanted to check first. Thanks!

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Hey @Jessica, yes you’ll need to make sure enough money is available to cover the cost of the submission :slight_smile:

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Okay, thanks!

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Hi all, two quick questions:


I am reading about messaging participants (Sending messages to participants – Prolific). It says:

The messaging system shouldn’t be used to send participants a link to your Prolific study page for IDs on your “allow list”

But it didn’t explain why this shouldn’t be done. What’s the problem with sending participants the direct links?

participants will be notified of the study by email and can also access the study once logged in via their Studies dashboard.

Does this mean participants will automatically receive an email once they are on my allow list? Is this only referring to the custom allow list? If my prescreen criterion is participation in a previous studies, will all participants from that previous study receive an email as soon as that study is published?

Thank you!

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Dear Josh,
Hi community,

I am having difficulties with the price calculations of studies. I am currently planning a study with a representative UK sample of 1500 participants. However, changing the hourly rate and the duration of the study does not affect the total price. It is calculated as about £1,050.00 even when I set the payout £30.00/hr for a 20 minutes study.

Is this a bug or do you have some kind of prize discounts in place?


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