Bonus payment for passing attention checks?

Hi there,

I’m considering adding the following text to the Prolific description for my study:

"A bonus of £1 will be added if you pass all attention checks and follow instructions precisely."

Is this fair / good practice? (Based on my non-Prolific pilot test, I think I would be awarding the bonus in 60-70% of cases).

I have written two attention checks at the beginning of the study in line with the advice here:

^^^ they appear directly below the instructions, are very simple, and participants need to fail both in order to see a bounce screen.

To be honest, the reason I’m thinking of adding the bonus is not so much to do with the attention checks themselves (i.e. do people understand the instructions), rather it’s more concerned with whether people are following the instructions for timed activities (which are: completing tasks without interruption, doing so at a normal pace).

E.g. in my pilot testing, some participants had very different response times in consecutive 5-10 minute
activities that should each take approximately the same amount of time. When I followed up, they said that they had skipped ahead in the second activity because they were getting tired or that e.g. their spouse/partner had wandered in.

This was already flagged in the instructions, but I have since also added extra reminders informing participants that tasks are timed!


hi @ric_cde ,
In my opinion, that would be fine. As long as everyone gets paid at least the minimum base rate per hour, it makes sense to me to incentivize good performance if that’s important to your study.
The only suggestion I have is to make sure that it’s very clear how participants qualify to receive the bonus. And it may be that “A bonus of £1 will be added if you pass all attention checks and follow instructions precisely.” is clear enough, but I think it might help to include something about the timing issue as that seems particularly relevant!