Multiple answers possible for ethnicity?


I’ve wondered if participants on Prolific state one ethnicity they belong to or do they have the option to check more than one?

Thanks in advance!

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Dear Elena,

Welcome back to the Forum!

There are two questions related to the matter on Prolific.

One is about the ethnic group:

The other one is about ethnicity:

I’m pretty sure that they both do not allow multiple choices as replies, but let’s wait for others’ confirmation on this (@Community_Leaders , @Jon )!

Also, the orange ‘i’ displayed on questions indicates that they are sensitive. You may want to read more about it here: Data Protection and Privacy/GDPR – Participant Help Centre



hi @Elena_Groben & @Veronica ,
people should have the ability to indicate multiple identities from the perspective that people might identify with more than one group (although it doesn’t seem possible to recruit multi-ethnic demographic categories based on the current pre-screener setup).
let’s also wait until someone from the Prolific team confirms the ethnicity response options though… (@Jon )

It’s a very good question @Elena_Groben, @Veronica and @paul - I had to ask around a fair bit on this one.

At the moment it isn’t possible to indicate multiple ethnicities. For representative samples, Prolific uses the ‘simple ethnic groups’ defined by the UK Office of National Statistics: White, Black, Asian, Mixed, or Other (these are very similar to the ‘Race’ groups’ defined by the US Census Bureau).

While we appreciate these groups aren’t very granular, we think they are a good trade off between the sample sizes typically requested against stratification-cell size. That said, we do collect more detailed ethnicity information: but we cannot deliver representative samples on this basis at the moment.

Thanks for your answer! I asked because we assess ethnicity the way Prolific does (but the more detailed granular version) and we just wanted to be in line with Prolific. But we did not know if we should allow multiple answers in our survey tool, because we thought that some participants may tick “African” and “White” for example, if one of their parents belongs to one ethnicity.

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@Jon , interesting! Thank you for looking into this. I’ll post a request to add an option for people to select multiple options, as that seems like it would be a good idea at some point to supplement a single-response question with more detail. I would be curious how many participants do not report ethnicity at all because they don’t know which one to select …

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