About a month ago, I started receiving requests from a number of my readers to put together a Prolific Review.
After using Prolific for a while, I’m now ready to share with you all the information you might possibly need to understand whether Prolific is worth the investment of your time and attention or not…
Let’s get started, shall we?
What is Prolific?
Prolific is a UK-based survey aggregator that was founded in 2014 by Ph.D. holders Phelim Bradley (currently serving as CTO) and Ekaterina Damer (currently serving as CEO).
Unlike most other survey aggregators out there, Prolific focuses solely on gathering high-quality data & insights for studies conducted mostly by large businesses, governments, universities, researchers, independent academics, Ph.D. candidates, and more.
Some of the survey providers Prolific has partnered with include:
- and Typeform
At the time I’m putting together this review, Prolific provides data and insights to 3000+ researchers from 500+ institutions, such as:
- The University of Oxford
- Harvard University
- The World Bank
- Cancer Research UK
- & more
In addition, Prolific currently consists of more than 70,000 members from all around the world.
Prolific’s mission is to make trustworthy data more accessible to everybody – from individuals to businesses to governments – and facilitate world-changing research.
The 5 core values that Prolific is built upon are:
Who Is Prolific For?
Prolific is mainly addressed to people who are interested in earning a few extra bucks online in their spare time or while on the go without much fuss or effort by filling in surveys.
If your goal is to generate some extra money fast and effortlessly that you could use towards
- Paying for a couple of your bills
- Purchasing some extra groceries
- Going on a short trip
- Having fun during your weekends
- Buying a few takeaway dinners
- Increasing your savings
then Prolific could be exactly what you’re looking for…
However, if you’re after building a sizeable monthly online income, then I suggest that you take a look at something else.
How Does Prolific Work?
Upon signing up for Prolific you’ll be prompted to fill in your first study.
This is a 6-minute, unpaid demo study that’s going to walk you through a few key concepts about Prolific in order to fully prepare you for participating in the platform’s paid studies.
After completing your demo study, you’ll be required to verify your account.
Verifying your account consists of 3 simple steps:
- Verifying your email address
- Verifying your mobile phone number
- and verifying your ID
Once you verify your account, you’ll be good and ready to start participating in Prolific’s paid studies.
At this point, it’s highly suggested that you fully complete your demographic profile by filling in all the available questionnaires that can be found under the “About You” section.
Each questionnaire consists of 5 – 25 questions that revolve around a variety of subjects, such as:
- Interests & hobbies
- Political & religious beliefs
- & more
Your answers are then going to be used by Prolific and its partners to determine whether you’re a good match for any given survey or not.
The more of those questionnaires you complete, the more study invitations you should be receiving. If I were you, I’d just complete all of them at once.
The average Prolific study lasts from 10 to 20 minutes and pays out anywhere between £0.30 to £2.50.
However, every once in a while and depending on your demographics, you might come across studies that are worth much more money and last a lot longer, and maybe even Longitudinal/Multi-part studies that extend across several days.
As you can see in the images above, Prolific lets you know exactly how much time a survey lasts as well as how much money it’s worth before you access it.
This enables you to make an informed decision regarding whether or not you should invest your time and attention in any given study.
After completing and submitting a study, its provider needs to review, evaluate, and approve your answers before Prolific credits you with any money.
Most of the time, this process takes about 1-2 days. Sometimes it could take longer.
Nonetheless, Prolific has an auto-approval mechanism in place which will automatically approve any study submissions that haven’t been reviewed by their providers within 21 days.
Please note that according to this article, Prolific sends study invitations ONLY to those participants that have logged in to the platform within the last 90 days.
Lastly, most surveys are open for a finite number of participants, so the faster you apply for a survey, the higher the chances of being allowed to actually participate in it.
How Does Prolific Pay?
Once you’ve generated at least £5, you can request Prolific for a cashout of your earnings.
Prolific will then deposit your earnings in your PayPal account.
To set your PayPal account you need to head over to “Account” -> “Cashout Details” -> “PayPal account” -> “Link”, fill in your Prolific password as prompted, and then click on the “Connect with PayPal” button.
Then, in order for the integration to be completed, you’ll have to fill in your PayPal email and password.
Please note that the email address associated with your PayPal account is NOT required to match the email address you used to create your Prolific account.
Prolific processes all its PayPal payments every Tuesday and Friday afternoon (GMT).
Once you’ve received your 4th cashout to the same PayPal account, you’ll automatically qualify to start receiving all the cashouts you request instantly.
How Much Money Can I Make With Prolific?
According to Prolific, the minimum payout of its studies is $6.50 per hour.
That being said, Prolific offers a lot higher hourly rates than almost all other survey panels out there.
However, there’s a huge catch here about which I’ll talk later on.
Anyway, personally, I managed to generate £30 in a month by using Prolific for about 1 hour/day.
Nonetheless, your mileage will most likely vary depending on your demographics and more specifically, your consumer purchasing power.
Your consumer purchasing power is basically the amount of money that you can potentially spend on purchasing products and/or services.
People with high consumer purchasing power tend to receive more study invitations and to higher-paying studies.
That’s because the companies that collaborate with Prolific are after gathering data and insights from people who actually have money to spend on their products/services.
For instance, a company will naturally care more about the opinion of a person who has a full-time job, kids, and has control over all the shopping of their household than someone who is unemployed and doesn’t have any income or kids.
Subsequently, the latter is going to be invited to fewer studies most of which will also be worth a lot less money.
Whatever the case, earning more than £100 per month for participating in Prolific’s studies is extremely unlikely, regardless of your demographics and consumer purchasing power.
How to Join Prolific?
Joining Prolific is extremely straightforward…
- First, head over to prolific.co
- Scroll down a bit and click on the “Signup to Participate” button
- Fill in the signup form with all the requested information
- Hit the “Register” button
- Confirm your email address
- Verify your phone number & ID (optional)
Congrats, you can now start earning money from home by filling in surveys for Prolific.
1 • Very Positive Feedback
Since it was first launched back in 2014, Prolific has received some pretty positive feedback and high ratings all around the web.
For instance, Prolific has been rated with 3.9/5 stars based on 120+ user reviews on Trustpilot and 4.1/5 stars based on 60+ user reviews on SurveyPolice.
Right below you can take a look at what some people have to say about their experience with Prolific:
2 • Vast Variety of Studies
Prolific’s studies are not merely surveys but could be structured in a variety of other ways, such as:
- Interactive experiments
- Creative & memory exercises
- Cognitive puzzles
- & more
Some studies might be comprised of just a few simple questions that take 1-2 minutes to answer…
Others might contain 30-minute audio clips that need to be transcribed across a couple of days.
And others might require you to compose short stories around certain characters.
Whatever the case, one thing is for sure…
Prolific’s studies are much more engaging, interesting, and unique compared to regular multiple-choice surveys.
3 • No Disqualifications
The vast majority of survey panels require you to answer several screening questions before they allow you to access any of their surveys.
This results in wasting quite a lot of time and energy answering screening questions only to get disqualified without receiving any compensation.
Unlike most survey panels out there, Prolific will never throw you out of a study you’ve started completing.
This is the case because Prolific doesn’t allow its researchers to run screening questions for disqualifying study participants.
On the contrary, Prolific’s researchers are allowed to customize their target audience by filtering eligible participants while creating their study based only on the demographic information they have provided under their Prolific profile.
According to Prolific:
All participants who are sent to your study can complete it and receive reward. You cannot simply reject participants if they do not meet the criteria you’re looking for, or exit them from your survey, if the criteria wasn’t applied to your prescreening. Participants inappropriately screened out of a study should not have their submission rejected, and will require payment.
Prolific goes on to state that if you ever get screened out of a survey after having answered a few questions, you should report it at once.
4 • Accurate Estimates
The actual length of the surveys provided by most survey panels is usually much longer than initially estimated.
For instance, a survey I just participated in had an estimated length of 10 minutes but it actually took me more than 20 minutes to complete.
Truthfully, that’s rather frustrating…
With Prolific, coming across a study that will last more than estimated is extremely unlikely.
When Prolific states that the estimated length of a survey is 5 minutes, chances are that you won’t end up spending more than 5 minutes to actually complete it.
5 • Bonus Money
Every now and then Prolific might invite you to studies that offer bonus money for every correct response you provide to them.
For instance, a study I took a few days ago consisted of a total of 42 questions and offered a £0.1 bonus per correct response.
The study’s initial worth was £1 but it ultimately paid me £4.30 due to providing correct answers to 33 out of its 42 questions.
That’s pretty solid.
6 • Available Worldwide
Prolific is one of the very few survey panels that are available in almost all countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.
Wherever you’re located, chances are that you’re able to join and utilize Prolific towards earning some extra money online.
Please note that in order to be allowed to join Prolific, you need to be at least 18 years old.
1 • Limited Study Invitations
Prolific’s largest downside is that from time to time, days could go by without receiving a single study invitation.
For example, during the last 7 days, I got to take part in just 1 study.
However, it’s not just me…
I’ve also heard many people complaining about being unable to take part in a study for up to 1 month.
According to Prolific, there are two reasons that you might be receiving limited or no study invitations:
- There are no studies that are currently available
- There are available studies but your demographics don’t match their target audience
Whatever the case, this lack of studies could severely impact your income potential with the platform.
2 • Kinda Misleading
Another thing I personally dislike about Prolific is that they dress up all their studies with a pretty misleading and meaningless “hourly rate” (see image below).
For instance, the study displayed in the image right above lasts for 4 minutes and is worth £0.40. However, its hourly rate seems to be £5.91.
What this basically means, is that IF you could keep completing the exact same survey over and over again for an hour, you’d earn £5.91.
However, that’s not going to actually happen…
Once you complete the 4-minute, you’ll get credited with the promised £0.40, and the story ends there…
In that sense, presenting an hourly rate for any given survey is just useless information that is probably used as a means to trick your mind into thinking that you’re earning more money.
3 • Unnecessary Extra Step
Right before accessing a study within Prolific, you’ll be asked to submit your Prolific ID.
Your Prolific ID is a unique combination of letters and numbers that is tied to your Prolific account.
If for any reason you fail to submit your Prolific ID before accessing a study, Prolific won’t be able to reward you for completing that study.
Frankly, this is an unnecessary extra step that should be fully automated by Prolific not only to save us time but also to ensure that everyone gets credited for the time and energy they invest in responding to studies.
Thankfully, some studies are already able to draw the Prolific ID automatically from a participant’s account.
4 • Unreliable Email Notifications
Prolific’s last downside is that its email notification system is very unreliable as it doesn’t actually notify you for every single study that is available for you to complete.
For instance, when I logged in to Prolific yesterday, I had received a couple of study invitations that I had never been notified of.
This means that if you don’t want to miss a study opportunity, you’ll have to actually log in to Prolific regularly to manually check for available studies.
The upside is that a while ago Prolific launched the Prolific Assistant Chrome Extension, which basically monitors your Prolific account and notifies you every time there’s an available survey for you.
This kind of function is pretty convenient and unlike Prolific’s email notification system, it actually works like a charm!
Prolific Review Summary
The amount of money you can potentially earn with Prolific won’t exceed £100 per month.
Extremely simple to utilize even if you are not at all tech-savvy.
Prolific’s studies could be surveys, experiments, quizzes, puzzles, exercises, & more.
The feedback that Prolific has received from its current and former users seems to be rather positive.
Is Prolific a Scam or Suggested?
Prolific is definitely NOT a scam.
The platform has been operating since 2014 and to this very day, it’s consistently receiving a lot of positive feedback from those who join and utilize it.
Frankly, after having used Prolific myself for a while, I can safely state that it’s one of the most well-rounded survey panels that currently exist out there.
What gives Prolific the upper hand over most of its competitors is that it won’t waste your time and energy in answering prescreening questions only to get disqualified.
Once you access one of its studies, it’s literally forbidden to get thrown out.
Furthermore, Prolific’s studies are far more engaging and interactive compared to the mind-numbing, multiple-choice surveys offered by most other survey panels out there.
No, Prolific won’t make you rich, but if you’re after pocketing an extra £100/month from home relatively effortlessly, joining Prolific is highly suggested.
Have any comments or questions?
Please leave a comment right below or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll be more than happy to help you out!