We strongly advise running a pilot study before launching your main study, to test it out on a small number of participants. This is especially important if you haven't run a similar study before.
- Double-check that all the technical aspects of your study are working
- Get an insight into the types of responses participants will give
- Make sure your Estimated Completion Time has been set accurately.
- For other instances of when we think it's a good idea to run a pilot study: When to pilot test your study
How to run a pilot study on Prolific
- Once you've created your survey/experiment using an external platform, create a new study on Prolific.
- Set your Maximum Submissions to be a small proportion of the sample you eventually want to get. For most studies, we recommend piloting on 5-10 participants, but you might want to recruit even fewer if your study is very complex. Enter the other Basic Details in this section as normal
- You may wish to let participants know in the study description that your study is a pilot, and that they may experience problems! Participants always appreciate transparency, and this may increase their motivation to give helpful feedback!
- If you’d like detailed feedback, you could target participants who are experienced users. To do this, use the "Approval Rate" and "Number of previous submissions" filters in Prescreening to get participants with a high number of Approved submissions.
- To launch your main study after making any necessary changes to your survey/experiment, you have two options:
- Duplicate this version. Add a Previous Studies screener to exclude the participants from your pilot sample.
- Increase places on your existing study. This will re-open the study to resume data collection.
And that's it - happy piloting!