Survey time and payments


Setting up a first study and have 2 questions.

  1. I was piloting the survey, which I estimated to take about 10 minutes. The returned surveys all showed respondents’ “time taken” at under 8 minutes, but the “median time” on the dashboard states 13 minutes. What is the difference?

  2. I am looking for additional information on how much to pay. I am familiar with the payment guidelines. But, is there an advantage to paying more than the recommended amount, in terms of responsiveness or attention of participants? How much do people actually pay for a 10 minute survey (all closed ended questions, attitudinal surveys and short scenario feedback)?

Thank you!

The median time should be, as per definition of median, the middle time in the ordered rank of times from shortest to longest (or the average of the central two if there is an even number of times). Since all the times are less than 8 minutes the median time should not be more than that. I am not sure why it is. a few outlier times would not effect the median – you would need just as many above 13 minutes as you can see below 8 minutes for 13 minutes to be the median.

I aim to pay about the recommended average based on the average time that the participants take but I often end up paying more because respondents are so fast.

I think that participants will be recruited faster if the payment is higher but if you have no problem with recruitment then I don’t think paying more than is recommended will make much difference.

I sometimes give a bonus to participants who have been especially helpful, such as by pointing out mistakes, and sometimes it may help to say that you are going to do that to get ideas for improvement (especially with the first ten test participants).


Thank you very much.