Studies 80-90% women, age 21. Could be from Viral TikTok about Prolific

We have noticed a huge leap in the number of participants on the platform in the US Pool, from 40k to 80k. Which is great, however, now a lot of our studies have a gender skew where maybe 85% of participants are women. Plus the age has been averaging around 21. Other people have shared similar numbers for their studies. This viral TikTok might be the reason why.

https://www.tiktok.com/@sarahndom/video/6988270489290411269?is_from_webapp=v1&is_copy_url=1

The TikTok currently has 754k likes and 19.6k shares.

Anyone else here experiencing this?

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Yes! I also had nearly 90% women in a recent student study. I was scared that some folks were using a VPN and a lot of sock puppets (and choosing female in an attempt to hide their nerdiness) but I think that going viral on Tiktok is a more parsimonious explanation. I will collect male and female data separately until this trend subsides.
Thank you,
Tim

And Its cool that subject numbers have increased.

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Yes, this could be an explanation. I’ve read about it here:

I have to run a new study soon, so I’ll probably go either for a Representative Sample (which, for US and UK, reflects the age, sex and ethnicity distribution of that population) or for two separate studies, one for females and one for males, as also suggested by @timtak.

Let’s see how things evolve!

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I follow up just to advertise the latest communication from Prolific on the topic:

https://blog.prolific.co/we-recently-went-viral-on-tiktok-heres-what-we-learned/

To note that:

  • you should get a refund of the service fees charged for that study;

  • representative samples are temporarily free of extra costs;

  • one can exclude newer subscribers by selecting the new screener “Participant Join Date”.

Hope this helps!
Veronica

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Thanks Veronica!

Tim

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