Many Labs 3: Evaluating participant pool quality across the academic semester via replication


The university participant pool is a key resource for behavioral research, and data quality is believed to vary over the course of the academic semester. This crowdsourced project examined time of semester variation in 10 known effects, 10 individual differences, and 3 data quality indicators over the course of the academic semester in 20 participant pools (N=2696) and with an online sample (N=737). Weak time of semester effects were observed on data quality indicators, participant sex, and a few individual differences—conscientiousness, mood, and stress. However, there was little evidence for time of semester qualifying experimental or correlational effects. The generality of this evidence is unknown because only a subset of the tested effects demonstrated evidence for the original result in the whole sample. Mean characteristics of pool samples change slightly during the semester, but these data suggest that those changes are mostly irrelevant for detecting effects.

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology