Question About Participant Screening

Hello everyone,
I just ran a study on Prolific and I am really confused about the data I have gotten in return. I was intending to only get participants living within the United States, who speak English (I have that included in my consent form as well) and somehow I have participants from all over the world. It looks like they were screened for student status, which I didn’t specify or ask for, and many participants do not have English as their native language. I just have no idea what happened. Is there anyone who I can reach out to to resolve this issue?

Yes, @Community_Leaders and @Josh are always here to help you. Before we get into a more technical discussion, could you share with us what your chosen screening questions are? It could be that the current ones you have are not restrictive enough and/or the unqualified people who got in didn’t carefully read the requirements stated in your consent form because most of the time, participants rush to do studies. It’s similar to how we always skip reading the Terms and Conditions of products we use. Or it could be that we have some unfaithful participants here who lie about their current country of residence and the language they speak. Another one would be that this is a new bug that the Prolific team hasn’t been aware of.

The rest of the members might have some more information to share with you :slight_smile:

Hi Alexis


If the prescreening questions were correctly added you will see them as a list in the study settings like the below for example.

If not, then in the prescreening questions selection dialogues it is necessary not only to click on the options you want to screen for but also to press “save”. If you did not press save, then it could be that the participants were not screened.

On the other hand, if the participants are lying about the their country of residence then I think that they generally (but not always) are savvy enough to lie again when asked (e.g. for country of residence) in your survey.

Also, while new/novel prescreening questions within surveys are not allowed, it is okay to prescreen for the existing prescreening conditions, as giving in the “your conditions” list like that above, if the same question wording is used, and send those who fail to give the same response back to Prolific with instructions to “return their submission.”

The Google Forms integration FAQ explains how to do that, on Google Forms but the process is similar elsewhere, in detail.

Is that any help? I am sorry if not.


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