How accurate are the participants' answers to Prolific's screening questions?

Hi community,

for a new project, I am looking for participants who shop for clothing items online on a regular basis. If I understood everything correctly, I can add this as a custom prescreening option and will get the individuals’ answers to the respective screening question in my Prolific export, right? I was now wondering how recent the answers to the screening questions are, as the shopping preferences might have changed in the course of the pandemic.

Thank you very much for your answers :slight_smile:

Hi Leonard! :wave:

If I understood everything correctly, I can add this as a custom prescreening option and will get the individuals’ answers to the respective screening question in my Prolific export, right?

Yes. But remind that there are always two ways to use the prescreeners:

  • to get information on some key feature of participants at the end of the study (information that you get extracting the final data). In this case, in the custom prescreening you need to select all possible responses:
    image

  • in order to get a sample of participants filtered by some characteristic, and imo this better suits your case. For example, I would only go for those whose response is “more than once a week”, “about once a week”, “several times a month” or “about once a month”.

I was now wondering how recent the answers to the screening questions are, as the shopping preferences might have changed in the course of the pandemic.

As you may already know, these are answers that participants provide at the time of subscription to Prolific. However, good news is that Prolific routinely asks for updates on these questions (and if you want to give suggestions on how to improve this mechanism, you can join us here!)

Also, it’s not possible to get exact dates for individual participants responses. However, I think that @Josh can be able to give you the intervals at which this specific “screener” must be updated. So I’d suggest to wait for his final word on this! :slight_smile:

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@Veronica’s completely correct!

If you provide me with a list of screeners, I can tell you if/when we require participants to update them :slight_smile:

Hi Josh,

Thank you for the fast reply! These are the relevant screeners:

  • Clothing online
  • Concern about environmental issues
  • Climate Change

Apart from them it might also be interesting to get a full list of all available screeners and their regular update intervals for the future. Thus, we could avoid to annoy participants with redundant questions they have already answered for the platform – only makes sense if more people are interested in it, for sure.

Great support you give in this forum by the way :slight_smile:

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I’m glad you’re finding this forum useful!

  • Clothing online: No update required
  • Concern about environmental issues: Update required every year
  • Climate Change: Update required every 500 days

Since your study revolves around online shopping, you may want to confirm participants habits haven’t changed since the onset of pandemic.

Apart from them it might also be interesting to get a full list of all available screeners and their regular update intervals for the future.

We have hundreds of screeners, so this may not be feasible, but if you let me know which ones you’d like to get more info about, and I’ll be able to provide it :slight_smile:

Hi Josh,

It’s me again, with a follow-up question. If I only want to include participants who bought clothing items online in the past (answered ‘Once in a few months or longer’ to your screening question) and want to confirm this in the survey, how do I proceed with it?

I understand that I select the question and the desired answers as a screener on the platform. I would then ask the question again in my survey. Shall I screen out participants who answer that they never bought clothing items online? Essentially, the answers of such participants are not relevant to me and I would like to avoid having to pay for them.

Thanks a lot and happy Friday!

Hello again :slight_smile:

If I only want to include participants who bought clothing items online in the past (answered ‘Once in a few months or longer’ to your screening question) and want to confirm this in the survey, how do I proceed with it?

You’ll need to ask the prescreening question exactly as it’s phrased on Prolific with the same options as answers, to avoid subjective misinterpretation.

Shall I screen out participants who answer that they never bought clothing items online? Essentially, the answers of such participants are not relevant to me and I would like to avoid having to pay for them.

You can only screen out participants whose answers do not match their prescreening answers. You can either ask them to return their submission (preferable) or reject it. In either scenario, you would not have to pay.

So, only choose to target those who have clicked that they have bought things online.

Happy Friday to you too!