For questions about the application of specific experimental methods to study psychology.

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21
votes
9answers
3k views

How can I create computer based psychology experiments using OS X?

I've used E-prime to create computer based psychology experiments (you know, the kind where you for example show a number of pictures to the participant and record their responses to them, for example ...
20
votes
1answer
522 views

Medium-term effects of polyphasic sleep on performance

Typical sleep patterns of one big block of 6 to 9 hours with no naps is usually referred to as monophasic sleep. A second natural sleep pattern is biphasic sleep which breaks up your sleep into two ...
19
votes
4answers
761 views

How long does it take to read a sentence with X number of characters?

How does the time needed to read a sentence scale with the number of characters? Or does this time scaling depend on something more than just character count? For example, let $X$ be the number of ...
18
votes
5answers
753 views

Can response time be incorporated into signal detection theory?

In signal detection theory, one typically uses "signal" and "no signal" responses to analyze the data (that is, the analysis is based on a discrete choice for each trial, effectively generating the ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What tasks does Bayesian decision-making model poorly?

Bayesianism has been a relatively successful paradigm for modeling decision-making. However, not every psychologist is a bayesian, and there are tasks such as the Tversky & Shafir (1992) ...
15
votes
5answers
843 views

Software for online psychological experiments that don't require users to download anything

We are currently using Inquisit to conduct Internet experiments. Since it is not compatible with non-Windows systems, we lose a lot of potential subjects. Ideally, we would like to implement something ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there an R implementation of the linear ballistic accumulator model or Ratcliff's diffusion model for measuring response time and accuracy?

I am looking for an implementation of the linear ballistic accumulator model or Ratcliff's diffusion model (e.g. in R, MATLAB, or Python).
13
votes
6answers
4k views

How to analyze reaction times and accuracy together?

Is there a good way to analyze reaction times and accuracy together, other than MANOVA? I have data from an experiment in which participants had to respond to stimuli in two different conditions in a ...
13
votes
3answers
548 views

Longitudinal mobile mood tracking app with random reminders

The goal is to take simple measurements of mood using Likert scale over an extended period of time (e.g. two months). I know there is a large number of mobile apps for tracking mood on every ...
12
votes
0answers
201 views

Human behaviour in one-shot perfect information games

Background A one-shot game is one where two participants have some set of actions $\{1, ... , n\}$, they make their decision on which option to take (without knowing the decision of their partner, or ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

What was the experiment where you pour liquid from a tall container to a short one and ask a child which has more?

From Developmental psychology 101 I remember an experiment where the person conducting the experiment would pour liquid from a tall, narrow container into a short, narrow container and ask a child if ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the standard way to analyze EEG data in a mismatch negativity paradigm?

I'm running an EEG experiment using a modified auditory mismatch negativity (MMN) design, and I'm wondering if anyone can tell me the best method for data analysis (and recommend any stats ...
10
votes
1answer
797 views

How to measure group differences incorporating reaction time / accuracy trade-off?

In a psychological experiment I am measuring subjects' reaction time as well as their error rate. Now I would like to compare two groups (males & females). There might be a bias in the sense that ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What does “veridicality” mean in terms of psychology?

I'm reading the paper "Visual Space Perception and Visually Directed Action" by Loomis, Da Silva, Fujita and Fukusima (1992; pdf). In this paper, the word 'veridicality' is used in several sentences. ...
10
votes
1answer
170 views

Problems with using personal feedback to motivate participation in an online psychological experiment?

I am planning on running an online psychological experiment where participants must learn about various simulated environments and then make inferences about them. Because completing the experiment ...
9
votes
2answers
135 views

How can experimental compliance (willingness of participants to participate) be measured?

I would like to have a measure for how willing and eager participants were during an experiment. I have the intuition that their eagerness to comply will profoundly alter results of psychological and ...
9
votes
2answers
168 views

How do humans optimize noisy multi-variable functions in experimental settings?

Imagine an experiment like this: A participant is asked to optimize an unknown function (let's say minimize) . On each trial the participant provides several input values, and receives an output ...
8
votes
2answers
597 views

How to assess participant awareness of experimental deception without inducing awareness?

I am designing a memory experiment with a deceptive critical trial, wherein an item is swapped without the participant's knowledge. What is the best way to determine if the participant has noticed ...
8
votes
1answer
167 views

Picture of eye promotes good behaviour

I remember a study about how a picture of an eye made people more well behaved. The experiment was in an unsupervised coffee room where there was a box where participants were expected to deposit ...
8
votes
1answer
674 views

Is there a database of emotional stimuli available?

For my research I need to use emotional stimuli to use for habituation to certain emotion. Are there any databases available (preferably free or not expensive) of non-linguistic stimuli I could use? ...
8
votes
1answer
150 views

Are there any rules about masking?

I am currently programming an experiment where participants have to do a divided visual field task. In a paper about the correct methodology about these tasks, it is said that you should use a ...
8
votes
1answer
320 views

What is the test-retest improvement in Block Design test?

Background: My lab is conducting a research on perceptual training. We train participants on different tasks, and assess them pre- and post- training on a large battery of tests. Obviously, people ...
8
votes
0answers
136 views

Advantage of active learning on classification tasks

I am looking for a specific type of experimental test of active learning. Given some artificial or natural learning task that consists of classifying inputs $x$ from a large input space $X$. There is ...
7
votes
2answers
81 views

Differences in willingness to correct errors made between human and computer interactions

I have a design where I present participants with a series of decisions, and then ask them about some of these decisions later. Similar work has found that even when the particular decision was made ...
7
votes
1answer
257 views

Is there a circadian component to mood variations in humans?

I'm looking at this question about an Experience Sampling Method (ESM) app: Longitudinal mobile mood tracking app with random reminders The studies linked in the question deal with sampling of user ...
7
votes
1answer
101 views

Are there any open task sets available to assess workload using secondary task measures?

Performance on secondary tasks next to a primary task is sometimes used to assess mental workload (Ogden, Levine and Eisner, 1979). For example, the Stroop test as a secondary task has been evaluated ...
6
votes
4answers
619 views

How valid are reaction times collected from online studies?

Online studies promise the possibility of greatly increased numbers of and variability in populations to study, but there are many potential concerns and need for validation, and diving in head first ...
6
votes
3answers
164 views

Why did Richard Feynman appear to recommend replication before manipulation when conducting lab experiments?

In Richard Feynman's classic Cargo Cult Science speech. He talks about a type of scientific error made, where a person takes a previous experimental result for granted when designing an experiment. ...
6
votes
2answers
90 views

What is the name of a test presenting words in different colors?

What's the name of this psychological test where you. Read and pronounce words in three colors (red, blue, green). - Words and colors match. - Say word and color (which are the same). As above - ...
6
votes
2answers
166 views

What does daytime actigraphy reveal about an active and awake brain?

I have interest in the study of human motion ( Actigraphy), and have built a couple of smartphone apps using its principles. The apps look at gross motor activity of an individual. Up until now, most ...
6
votes
1answer
83 views

Is there a canonical reference for behavioral, attentional, and memory tests?

In researching another question, I read a few review articles that were testing behavioral and attentional variables in response to different sleep parameters. I was curious about some of these ...
6
votes
1answer
242 views

Measuring changes in hemispheric dominance over time

I've recently started using my trackball left-handed after being right-handed my whole life. The motivation is partly to balance out wrist strain, and partly to see how much my brain rejects the idea. ...
6
votes
1answer
71 views

Visual acuity and offset stimuli

I'm currently setting up and experiment that utilises a visual search task that contains a circular array of target letters and a distractor that falls outside the circle. Obviously the further away ...
6
votes
3answers
170 views

Which is the shortest duration for a pitch difference in audio signals to be perceived by the human auditory system?

If I have two short audio signals, for example pure tone C4 and C#4, so half-tone difference, how short can they be that the human can hear the difference in pitch? Was there any ...
6
votes
1answer
144 views

Why do we use 3 channel R,G,B to represent color?

I read that there're some more colors which cannot be represented by R,G,B. What is the experiment that lead people to use 3 variables R,G,B? Can that experiment be replicated in other modals, such ...
6
votes
1answer
155 views

Controlling for response bias in a forced choice memory task

I want to present participants a pair of items $a$ and $b$, each with an association $x$ or $y$. Later on participants will presented with the items singularly, and asked 'what was the association?'. ...
6
votes
1answer
63 views

Accuracy of social judgements of observers watching business meetings

I'm very interested in how people size one another up in social situations and in particular what we key in on when we are making these judgements. Let's make an imaginary experiment. I make ...
6
votes
1answer
281 views

Descriptive models of different types of consciousness

In behavioral experiments we get the first-person responses of the participants. The third-person perspective is available through the collected data. There is a second-person perspective collected ...
6
votes
1answer
66 views

What is the state of the art in computerised coding of Thematic Apperception Tests (TATs)?

Thematic Apperception Tests (TATs) involve showing test takers pictures and getting them to write stories based on the pictures. Coding such stories for themes and traits can be complex, ...
6
votes
0answers
53 views

Difference between Logan's Instance theory and Exemplar-Based Random Walk (EBRW) theory

I'm trying to find a clear explanation of the difference between Logan's instance theory (Logan, 2002) and the Exemplar-Based Random Walk theory (Nosofsky & Palmari, 1997). Am I mistaken that they ...
6
votes
0answers
69 views

Resource on how to effectively develop within-subjects vignette based study

Background: Where I used to work fellow researchers used to have a task known as the CV task. The task required participants to answer a number of questions about a set of CVs (e.g., is this a good ...
6
votes
0answers
160 views

Online datasets for the disjunction effect and violations of the sure-thing principle

The disjunction effect (or violation of the sure-thing principle) is as follows: A dis­junc­tion effect occurs when peo­ple pre­fer x over y when they know that event A obtains, and they also ...
5
votes
2answers
617 views

Free software to run questionnaire based experiments

I am looking for free software to build experiments that do not heavily rely on accurate timing (where I use PsychoPy and heard a lot of good things about OpenSesame) but more on an easy way to ...
5
votes
2answers
354 views

Heart rate monitor for scientific study

I want to measure heart rate as part of a controlled experiment I am setting up. I've been trying to find information on which heart rate monitor to buy, but it's unclear to me which heart rate ...
5
votes
2answers
292 views

Minimum duration for presenting a visual stimulus on screen

My experiment involves presenting simple visual stimuli briefly on screen (200 ms to 1000 ms). The stimuli would be simple enough (e.g. a circle and a line) but I want to use a range of durations to ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

Why does speaking with rhythm help a subject get into a trance?

Various hypnotism teachers tell you to speak with a relaxed voice with rhythm. You can see Derren Brown on this in The Experiment - The Assassin (from 4:48 to 5:40): Soft, rhythmical language, ...
5
votes
2answers
210 views

What is the primary mechanism behind nationalism, sports-team-ism, product-ism etc.?

I'm interested in doing research on the subject of nationalism, but I believe that what I'm looking for is more generic than that. I observe that nationalism looks similar to the way that people feel ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

How can items from a general self-esteem/efficacy measure be changed to measure context specific self-esteem/efficacy?

I am very interested in a survey employing a Likert type scale in my research. I have come across the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. I would like to use this scale to get a sense of how subjects feel ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

Why is my Gabor patch not resizing as a function of the bounding box?

I'm trying to create a Gabor patch of variable size for an upcoming experiment. Below is the python function used to generate the code. The code was ported from this tutorial for Matlab (assume ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Does intoxication ever improve reaction time?

Background: As I write this I am rather "tipsy." I wanted to do some experiments and test my reaction time. I noticed that ironically, my reaction times were a lot quicker than when I am sober. Is ...