Interesting blog post at “Experimental Turk, A blog on social science experiments on Amazon Mechanical Turk” by Gabriele Paolacci.

David Rand posted on Crowdflower about a great Amazon Mechanical Turk study he recently conducted along with John Horton on altruism (as measured by cooperative behavior on a Prisoner’s Dilemma), that also used religious priming. The authors found that (rearranged from the original post):

1. A majority of Turkers cooperate in a Prisoner’s Dilemma. Thus even in the entirely anonymous and profit-motivated online labor market of AMT, many people still choose to help each other.

2. Reading a religious passage about the important of charity makes religious Turkers more altruistic, but has no effect on Turkers who do not believe in god. This shows that Turkers respond in basically the same way as “normal” lab subjects, and is fairly intuitive. Those who believe in god are receptive to calls for generosity phrased in religious language, while non-believers aren’t.