Task Sequence Design: Evidence on Price and Difficulty


  • Ming Yin Harvard University
  • Yiling Chen Harvard University
  • Yu-An Sun Xerox Innovation Group




We experimentally study the effects of two variables in task sequence design, price and difficulty of tasks, on the quality of work produced in a task sequence. We find that in a three-task sequence, the work quality of a task is influenced by prices of all previous tasks, potentially at various degrees. For the effects of task difficulty, however, we observe similar work quality of a task regardless whether the task follows an easier or more difficult task. This observation is inconsistent with the prediction of either the task switching effect or the sequential difficulty effect in the literature. Interestingly, according to a post-task survey, workers seem to adjust their perception of appropriate payment for a task according to the change of difficulty levels over tasks in a sequence, suggesting a potential "anchoring" effect on task difficulty. The insensitivity of work quality to the change of task difficulty levels is possibly a result of a mixture of different effects.




How to Cite

Yin, M., Chen, Y., & Sun, Y.-A. (2013). Task Sequence Design: Evidence on Price and Difficulty. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing, 1(1), 82-83. https://doi.org/10.1609/hcomp.v1i1.13116