Trying to get 1000 people to pick a number from 1 to 10.

I said before that I had difficulty getting 500 people to do a task, but I had forgotten the details of whatever experiment that was, so I ran a fresh experiment. Turkers were offered 1 cent to pick a number from 1 to 10. I wanted 1000 people to do the task.

This chart shows the cumulative number of workers over time, starting at about 1pm on the Sunday after New Years.

We got 100 turkers in the first 3 hours, but it took a little over 4.5 days to get 500 turkers. The blue “update” indicates a time when I updated the task on Mechanical Turk, causing it to become the most-recently-added task again. We see a spike of workers after this update (though not quite as big as the initial spike of workers). Interestingly, the rate of turkers seems fairly constant over the rest of the time. I stopped the experiment after a week (with ~850 turkers), thinking it would take a while to get the 1000 turkers, but looking at the graph, we probably only needed to wait another day or two.. or three.

So, this experiment was more about how many turkers we could get, but since we have the data, what number did people choose?

Whoever keeps telling me that people like to choose 7 is right, it would seem. Note that all the odd numbers 3, 5, 7 and 9 are picked more often than their neighbors, though this is not significant except between 4 and 5, and between 7 and it’s neighbors.


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