Research News Live

Can I use a game of skill as an incentive?

Many research organisations offer an incentive of some kind to participants who take part in a project.

I have seen surveys where an incentive was offered, but it turned out to be a reward for a test of skill. At the end of the survey, participants were asked to submit an answer to a question and told that the ‘best’ answers would receive a prize.

This is not an appropriate incentive for a research project. The intention of a research-related incentive is to motivate response and thank people for taking part in the project, not to reward skill.

All participants in a project must be treated fairly and equally. A test of skill does not do this. It differentiates people on some basis other than participation.

Incentives should not be a reward for a test, but an acknowledgment of participation.

Further advice about incentives can be found in the Research Society’s guidance: ‘Good practice when offering incentives for participation in research’, available on the website.

 *Note, This Guideline is not publicly available. Access is available to Members & Partners of The Research Society only.

Author: Jane Gregory, Professional Standards Officer, The Research Society

mm
About The Research Society 1133 Articles
The Research Society is the peak body for research, insights and analytics professionals in Australia. It has a diverse membership of individuals at all levels of experience and seniority within agencies, consultancies, client-side organisations, the non-profit and government sectors, support services as well as institutions and the academic community. As well as over 2,000 individual members, the Research Society has 125+ company and client partners, with the number continuing to grow. The Research Society research professionals and company partners commit to and are regulated by the Research Society Code of Professional Behaviour.