Any tips for ensuring participants actually watch the video

Hi Community,

I’d appreciate your thoughts.

I’m wanting to run a study where the main task for participants will be watching a video and then responding to that video with some quali and quanti questions.

But do you have any thoughts about how I ensure that participants actually watch the video?

Quite a lot of the video will contain factual content that could be googled. So I’m not sure that using questions based on the actual video content would be useful in terms of checking genuine engagement as participants could just google the answer.

I’m just wondering if you have other thoughts about how to ensure engagement.

With thanks.

Hi Miles

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

I have done a video study like that and I included, at the beginning of
the video I think, an oral request that participants put a number in a “Your Answer” box. There is mention of oral request IMCs in the Prolific attention check FAQ.

Here we go…

Audio/Video IMCs

Please note that any IMCs using video or audio format are subject to the same guidance as text-based checks. For example, the guidance of ‘they must be easy to read’ should be interpreted as easy to see on the video or easy to hear in an audio check. If these types of checks are used it is particularly important to ensure that memory recall is not required (i.e., the audio/video must be presented at the same time as the question).

Only one person failed.

You could make this IMC with your smartphone and then splice it to the beginning of the video with something like losslesscut without rendering quite quickly (if you have a lot of videos) or using something like Sony Vegas or Adobe Premier if you don’t have too many videos.

Here is one my videos

I think it would be okay to put the IMC at the end of the video to make sure that participants are watching to the end if it is immediately (gaplessly) at the end so that participants can’t claim that they thought the video had already ended.


Timothy Takemoto
Yamaguchi University

@timtak - thank you so much for your reply.

Really great, really useful. Much appreciated.

Following your video and the guidelines, if the video is long - i.e. longer than 5 minutes could you put two audio checks in middle of the video content - as long as it is well highlighted, to ensure that any more manipulative participants aren’t just skimming the start and end in the hunt of the audio check answers. Or does the check “have” to be at the start or end of the content?

I’d be grateful for your thoughts. Thanks in advance.


I think it would be fine to have the IMC in the middle of the video, to ensure as you say that participants don’t just skim all but the beginning and end.

I think that as long as it is easy to see or hear then you could even go so far as to add audio instructions while the video is continuing, or add it as a visual question while the video audio is playing (thought not while there is visual or audio language so that they have to read phrase while reading another).

All in my humble opinion.


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