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How do I use Prolific's demographic prescreening?

Overview

On Prolific, you have the option to enter prescreening criteria to filter the participants you need.

Here are a few examples of the several hundred demographic criteria you can currently filter by:

  • Sex
  • Gender identity
  • Age
  • Nationality
  • Country of birth
  • Current country of residence
  • Within the United States: Current US state of residence and US state of birth
  • First language
  • Fluent languages
  • Ethnicity
  • Employment status & domain
  • Student status & field of study
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious affiliation
  • Sexual orientation
  • Handedness
  • Marital status
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Participants' approval rating (how well did participants do in past studies?)

To see the full range of prescreening options, take a look at our 'check sample' feature, or sign up for a researcher account and create a draft study.

If our current prescreening options don't quite meet your needs, you can recruit a custom sample to find your audience!

Please note that all prescreening responses are self-reported. The only criterion that we actively check is 'current country of residence'.

Good to know...


  • The demographic data selected for prescreening will be available for you to download as soon as participants start to complete your study. See our article Exporting prolific demographic data for more information.
  • If recruiting your target sample is not possible using our existing filters, then please refer to our article on recruiting a custom sample
  • All screening on Prolific must be done using the internal screening system outlined in this article - you cannot screen participants within your study. See our article Can I screen participants within my study? for more information.
  • The majority of participants on Prolific are proficient in English, but we cannot guarantee this unless you explicitly screen for English fluency.
  • 'Age' and 'current country of residence' are the only mandatory questions for participants. All other prescreening questions are optional for participants to answer.
  • Participants are not able to see which prescreening filters have been applied to each study.
  • Participants can't immediately change their prescreening answers. They can delete them, but will only be able to re-enter them after the currently active studies are completed.
  • Our prescreening options use 'or' logic within prescreeners. For example, if you apply the 'fluent languages' prescreener and select 'English' and 'Polish' as responses, this will search for participants who are fluent in English OR Polish.
  • Our prescreening options use 'and' logic between prescreeners. For example, if you apply the 'fluent languages' prescreener and select 'French' and the 'current country of residence' prescreener and select 'Italy', this will search for participants who are fluent in French AND live in Italy.

Please get in touch using the button at the bottom of the page if you have any questions about our prescreening options! Our friendly Support Team will be more than happy to help you in applying the right prescreening for your study.

How many participants will be eligible for my study?


To check how many eligible participants we have for each criteria, you can do so by creating a study. In the 'audience' section you can select the demographics you need by selecting 'prescreen participants'. You will then see the number of active participants meeting your criteria. Please see this article for further information: Setting up a study - audience

We typically recommend expecting a 40-50% response rate from eligible participants.


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