Incentive Calculator: The Math

How exactly does the Ethnio robot come up with how much your participants should be paid?

  • Data from 385,000+ participants Ethnio has paid in 180+ countries 
  • Cost of living offset is based on housing, food, taxes, and healthcare from the World Population Review. It's a rough guide to understanding what appropriate amounts might be for all your global participants. See the entire index here.
  • Thousands of research studies spanning 4M+ respondents that were scheduled and recruited on the Ethnio platform.
  • 300+ UX research studies our pretty ancient founder helped conduct, and input from the research community.

This calculator is also based on our opinions. It's debatable, fallible, and most importantly, subject to your own context. Think we're missing something? Please do share your thoughts. We'd love to hear from you.

Base Rate

The starting point for the calculation is whether you choose Moderated or Unmoderated:

  • $3/min for moderated
  • $.20/min for unmoderated 

i = B + (B  A)W1 + (B   T)W2 + (B   F)W3

Your final incentive (i) is calculated with a pretty simple formula.  First, the base rate (B) is dollars per minute based on your study type, where moderated is more expensive than unmoderated. The robots then multiply that base rate by the type of activities (A), which have different percentage increases or decreases (B ⨯  A). For example, a Site Visit is roughly 25% more expensive than a remote 1:1 interview. The last little detail is that each part of the formula can be multiplied by relative weights. For example, activity changes (W1) might be weighted more heavily than how fast you need your study (F), which is multiplied by W3.

i = The Incentive

B = Base rate as dollars per minute

A = Type of activity

W1...Wn = Weight of each element

T = Trickiness

F = How fast

O = Org Type

S = Org Size


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