Data Collection : Survey Websites & Social Web

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imageIt’s a relatively new way to look at data collection and participant engagement. Rather than pursuing potential participants to fill out your surveys, a few online project are using social media to attract participants to fill out the surveys for their own benefits, possibly creating some of the most comprehensive datasets available for those scales.

Through one of my recent projects I’ve come across three such projects, of slightly different audiences, scales and social web use, but all are essentially doing very well in data collection. The basic idea is to provide the users with the benefits of immediate self-assessment after survey completion. Together with data gathered from associated Facebook profiles about demographics, likes, and social networks the opportunities are endless.



Website / Facebook app / Researchers / Wiki

From the research page:

myPersonality is a rather popular Facebook application (>1.000.000 active users monthly) that allows users to take real psychometric tests. As well as the data from the tests, around 40% of the respondents agree to give us access to their facebook profile data, and social network data.

Currently, our database contains more than 6.000.000 test results together with more than 4.000.000 individual profiles. Our respondents come from various age groups, backgrounds and cultures. They are highly motivated to answer honestly and carefully, as the only gratification they receive for their participation is feedback on their results. Their scores are combined with unprecedented amounts of additional information, including detailed demographic profile, record of their behaviour in Facebook environment, their interests, preferences, opinions, etc.



Website / Facebook app / Blog

From the about page:

MyType’s psychology quizzes give you rich visual and verbal feedback about your personality and values. Compare your results to friends, family and colleagues. Get to the bottom of that most important question: what type of person are you?



Website / Blog

Not as social web as the others, but still seems like a big online project on morality.

From the about page:

This website is a collaboration among social psychologists who study morality and politics. Our goal was to create a site that would be useful and interesting to users, particularly ethics classes and seminars, and that would also allow us to test a variety of theories about moral psychology. One of our main goals is to foster understanding across the political spectrum. Almost everyone cares about morality, and we want to understand –and to help others understand — the many different ways that people care.


Project Implicit

Website / Research page

From the about page:

Project Implicit blends basic research and educational outreach in a virtual laboratory at which visitors can examine their own hidden biases. Project Implicit is the product of research by three scientists whose work produced a new approach to understanding of attitudes, biases, and stereotypes.

The Project Implicit site ( has been functioning as a hands-on science museum exhibit, allowing web visitors to experience the manner in which human minds display the effects of stereotypic and prejudicial associations acquired from their socio-cultural environment.


You’d have to agree that’s not a bad way of collecting data, it’s useful and fun for the participants and opens doors for a whole new world of research possibilities. Some of that data is publicly available for researchers to access and analyze.

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