Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Should I fill that survey?

I was one of "very few people" selected to complete a survey for some research study. In return for the time spent clicking radio buttons and checkboxes I was offered entry into a raffle: 2 prizes of \$150 each and 4 prizes of \$50 each. At first sight my reaction was: That's quite a reward!

But, wait a minute: It looked like a really long and tedious survey to fill out, each page laid out in a 9 pt font, with over 10 pages of multiple-choice and open ended questions. It would easily take me 30 minutes from start to finish! Considering the work involved, I did not expect more than 100 people to complete the survey. Was it worth the effort? Let's check:

E[\mbox{prize money}] = \frac{2}{100}\cdot 150 + \frac{4}{100}\cdot 50 = $5.

*On average*, this deal looks like a $10/hr hourly job. I'll pass!

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