Encouraging Work in Citizen Science: Experiments in Goal Setting and Anchoring

Publication Type:



ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW) (2016)


This paper describes the results of an online field experiment where we designed and analyzed the effects of a goal-setting tracker in an online citizen science project - Floating Forest. The design of our tracker was influenced by psychology theories of anchoring and goal-setting. Our results of our experiment revealed: (1) setting goals increases annotations in a session; (2) numeric anchors influence goals; and (3) participants in the treatment who saw a prompt but did not set a goal, contributed more annotations than the participants in the control group. Our research shows how goal-setting and anchoring combine to increase work in online communities.

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