Entering the Academy: Lucid’s Expansion into Academic Research

Feb 7, 2019 | Marketplace

It’s true that market research industry is Lucid’s point of origin. For me, however, one of the most exciting things about Lucid has been its growing appeal to so many new and different types of researchers.

The journal Research and Politics published a groundbreaking new article by Alex Coppock and Oliver McClellan of Yale and Columbia, respectively, demonstrating Lucid’s unique value as a tool for scholarly research and the estimation of treatment effects. This study has wide-ranging implications for how academic and public opinion researchers use online sample in general – and specifically, how they use Lucid’s Marketplace.

This is a big deal because online survey subjects have become an integral tool for scholarly researchers. Since Berinsky et al.’s 2012 paper evaluating Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk), that tool has become the essential crowdsourcing platform for social scientists. Google Scholar alone suggests over 2300 citations since the article’s publication, making it the most influential study on the use of online sample for conducting experimental research, by far.

Coppock and McClellan have replicated this seminal study, comparing Lucid’s Marketplace with MTurk. The results substantiated, persuasively, both Lucid’s unique value as a source of survey subjects and the overall value of online sample for creating estimates of treatment effects.

Lucid’s pool of survey subjects compared favorably to MTurk, hewing closer to external benchmarks – like the ANES –  both in demographic composition and political attitudes. Respondents from our marketplace were similarly closer to the ANES when they were evaluated for psychological personality traits not otherwise controlled for by our technology’s quota sampling capabilities.

Coppock and McClellan’s findings make clear the value of our marketplace and its participants as a valuable alternative to single-source sample pools like MTurk. Lucid’s sheer size helps assure successful feasibility of a given sample frame. Moreover, the diversity of our supply partners reduces the opportunity for coordination among survey participants and contributes to a less professionalized respondent pool that better fits external demographic, political, and psychological US benchmarks.

The growth of online sample marketplaces like ours at Lucid has simultaneously enabled researchers to conduct experiments at scale and lowered the barrier to entry to allow many more scholars to field experiments in the first place.

This new market is one that we’re taking seriously. In 2017, Lucid launched Theorem (previously known as Academia), a tool to make it easier for individual professors and students to quickly access our marketplace with the simplicity of a credit card. Since its soft launch and with its use growing, Theorem has facilitated nearly 200,000 interviews by dozens of academics  representing over 40 institutions of higher learning the US. Other scholars have found value in working with our Marketplace Services team for their most complicated projects or integration our Marketplace Software for their entire department.

Lucid is overjoyed to have been discovered by a growing number of scholars and is proud to have produced tools that provides real value to academic learning.

For more information or to launch a project today, check out our support page for Academics.

If you’ve written an article, journal piece, or white paper using data from Lucid, we’d love to learn about your findings and feature it on our social media platforms.

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