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Which participants will take my study?

What if I launch a study with no prescreening filters applied?


At Prolific our participant pool is made up of a wide range of participants from many different countries.

If you launch a study on Prolific with no prescreening filters applied then any of our participants will be able to access that study.

We have algorithms in place to fairly allocate study spaces, and once a study is distributed to participants, it will be completed on a first-come first-served basis. This means that we can't guarantee the demographics of the participants who will complete your study if you've chosen not to apply prescreening filters.

However, this is the perfect option if you don't mind who gets to complete your study and want to get responses as fast as possible!

What if I want to target specific participants?


If you want to reach participants with specific demographics, we have a wide range of prescreening filters that can be applied to studies. This will ensure that your study is only accessible to the specific populations that you're looking to target.

If our in-built prescreening filters don't quite meet your needs then you're always welcome to recruit a custom sample.

What if I want a more balanced or representative sample?


You can use the 'Balance sample' feature to ensure an equal distribution of male and female participants in your study. To do so, tick the Sex checkbox in the Audience section of your study form.

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Sometimes, you may wish to receive a specific distribution of participants across demographics other than Sex. The best way to do this is by following our guidance on demographic balancing. This will give you control over how you balance your sample.

If you're looking to recruit a sample that reflects the demographic distribution of a given population, our representative sample feature is currently available for UK and US populations. There's also our representative samples FAQ page if you want a more in-depth look at how this feature works!


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