An online daily diary study of alcohol use using Amazon's Mechanical Turk

Authors

  • Marcella H. Boynton,

    Corresponding author
    1. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
    • Correspondence to Dr Marcella H. Boynton, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, 450 West Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA. Tel: +1 (919) 966 2759; Fax: +1 (919) 843 3418; E-mail: mhb23@unc.edu

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  • Laura Smart Richman

    1. Department of Psychology, Duke University, Durham, USA
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  • Marcella H. Boynton PhD, Research Scientist, Laura S. Richman PhD, Assistant Professor.

Abstract

Introduction and Aims

In recent years, unprecedented levels of Internet access and the widespread growth of emergent communication technologies have resulted in significantly greater population access for substance use researchers. Despite the research potential of such technologies, the use of the Internet to recruit individuals for participation in event-level research has been limited. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief account of the methods and results from an online daily diary study of alcohol use.

Design and Methods

Participants were recruited using Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Eligible participants completed a brief screener assessing demographics and health behaviours, with a subset of individuals subsequently recruited to participate in a 2 week daily diary study of alcohol use.

Results

Multilevel models of the daily alcohol data derived from the Mechanical Turk sample (n= 369) replicated several findings commonly reported in daily diary studies of alcohol use.

Discussion and Conclusions

Results demonstrate that online participant recruitment and survey administration can be a fruitful method for conducting daily diary alcohol research. [Boynton MH, Richman LS. An online daily diary study of alcohol use using Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Drug Alcohol Rev 2014;33:456–461]

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