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Diminished Control in Crowdsourcing: An Investigation of Crowdworker Multitasking Behavior

Gould, SJJ; Cox, AL; Brumby, DP; (2016) Diminished Control in Crowdsourcing: An Investigation of Crowdworker Multitasking Behavior. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction , 23 (3) , Article 19. 10.1145/2928269. Green open access

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Abstract

Obtaining high-quality data from crowds can be difficult if contributors do not give tasks sufficient attention. Attention checks are often used to mitigate this problem, but, because the roots of inattention are poorly understood, checks often compel attentive contributors to complete unnecessary work. We investigated a potential source of inattentiveness during crowdwork: multitasking. We found that workers switched to other tasks every five minutes, on average. There were indications that increasing switch frequency negatively affected performance. To address this, we tested an intervention that encouraged workers to stay focused on our task after multitasking was detected. We found that our intervention reduced the frequency of task-switching. It also improves on existing attention checks because it does not place additional demands on workers who are already focused. Our approach shows that crowds can help to overcome some of the limitations of laboratory studies by affording access to naturalistic multitasking behavior.

Type: Article
Title: Diminished Control in Crowdsourcing: An Investigation of Crowdworker Multitasking Behavior
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1145/2928269
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2928269
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 ACM.
Keywords: Interruptions, multitasking, cuing, crowdsourcing, online experimentation, methodology, human performance, data-entry, transcription
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1482232
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