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Using CfP as a participant

10 August 2017

Tens of thousands of participants have taken part in research through Call for Participants, and so we wanted to catch up with some of them from across the globe to hear about their experiences on the platform.

Anders C from Norway is a psychology enthusiast and when he is not busy spending time with friends, reading, music production, or hiking, you will find him on CfP finding studies to take part in. Scottie H is an "aspiring songstress/starving artist/peripatetic seeker of knowledge & wisdom" from the USA who loves travelling and once wrote a jingle for an airline company.

We asked them both about their experiences and how they ended up on CfP.

"I can't recall ... I only know that it was some kind of 'serendipity' one thing leading to another, so here I ended up" - Scottie

Both Scottie and Anders have taken part in so many studies over the years, that neither can remember how many exactly.

"A great many ... I check the site regularly and take part in the studies where I fit the criteria and find interesting enough to use my time on." - Anders
I don't even remember what my first study was, but I'm sure I participated because it offered the opportunity to participate in an Amazon gift card draw. If I won and the card was in UK pounds, I gave it to a former airline co-worker who could figure out how to buy something like a book in the UK ... After reading it, she would donate it to her local library, so the book really made the rounds and got recycled." - Scottie

As far as studies go, both agree it's great to receive some financial reward for their time, but that's not all that influences their choices in what to participate in.

"Some kinds of studies are more preferred than others, and this influences what I participate in. Market research, in general, is not something I find very interesting, and research studies where I review cases, videos, pictures etc. and answer some questions are neither very interesting. I prefer Likert scales and the likes, and research studies that have novel combinations of questionnaires, novel questionnaires that I have not taken many times already in other studies, or novel studies." - Anders

It is also interesting that neither Anders nor Scottie live in the UK, where most studies on Call for Participants take place.

"As I live in Norway, I have focused on taking part in online studies. In this category have I taken part in everything from social psychology and personality psychology studies, to research on mental health and market research." - Anders

We asked our participants to tell us about their experiences taking part in research and whether there was anything that they remember very vividly.

"It’s a relaxing experience and a good tool for killing time. It is also educational, and I come to know the research trends and the progress of research on different kinds of topics. And it is a good feeling to both contribute to research and be given the opportunity to contribute to research, it boosts the self-esteem." - Anders
"There was one survey that offered me an opportunity to respond to art in an open-ended way. I gushed my heart and soul into my answers - could never replicate that experience - only to have the survey dump my answers just as I was hitting the 'Finish' button because of some glitch!" - Scottie

Oh, Scottie, we know your pain! Let's hope that the researcher uses a better questionnaire software next time.

"My most memorable experiences are when the study directly engages with one of my favourite topics, for example studies that seek to better the fulfilling of human rights, from preventing child abuse and neglect and its consequences, to create a society that cares for the common good." - Anders

It definitely sounds like they both have enjoyed taking part in research. So we asked them what they would say to somebody considering whether or not to do it.

"That taking part in research is a great way to learn more about how scientific research is done and what it involves. It gives a reality check that fake news, news, and Wikipedia can’t give, and it gives a broader perspective on the world through the equal relationship between theory and practice involved in research participation. And it also is an alternative and more loyal way to influence the world than voting for politicians that may only in best case do what one expects them to do."
"Go for it - what have you got to lose except time, energy, and your well-though-out answers, as I pointed out above?" - Scottie

We loved catching up with Scottie and Anders, hearing from them makes us remember why we created Call for Participants and how much fun it can be to take part in research.

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