By Linnea Langkammer
Researchers often offer payment to research participants to reimburse them for expenses, to compensate them for their time and travel, or to incentivize their participation. New research suggests that offers of payment could actually drive participants to lie to researchers in order to meet enrollment criteria.
In the survey experiment, co-authored by Penn Memory Center Scholar Emily Largent, participants were offered a reimbursement for completion of an online survey. Over several experimental groups, researchers found that between 10.5% to 22.8% of participants falsely reported meeting the flu vaccine eligibility requirement when compared to a control group, which was paid regardless of flu vaccine status.