In response to the COVID-19 crisis, laboratories around the world have ceased in-person human data collection. In principle, many of these laboratories could run their studies online. With over 4,000,000,000 people online, most populations of interest are reachable.
This workshop serves to help laboratories get their research online, covering the key technologies necessary as well as best practices when designing for research on the Web. We will work with the jsPsych and Pushkin free and open source framework, optimized specifically for building an online laboratory for psychological studies.
In this session, we will cover the basic technologies necessary to build an online experiment,
We will cover how to build a lexical decision experiment, containing instructions, lexical decision trials, and a concluding debriefing page. This includes understanding the nature of jsPsych's plugin-based framework, options for creating and adding trials, and where to go for more information.Relevant resources:
In this session we will cover key best practices for designing an online experiment. Topics we will
Following up on Session 1, we will dive deeper into harnessing the features of jsPsych to be able to
create more complicated study design features necessary for most research studies; this includes
dynamically-generated stimuli, performance based branching, and complex condition randomization and
sampling. Core topics will include:
Pushkin provides a customizable, scalable ecosystem for massive online psychological experiments. In
this session, we will cover how to set up your online Pushkin-based laboratory and the included
This concluding Q & A will provide an extra opportunity to ask questions about any of the materials covered in the previous sessions, as well as anything else that might arise.Relevant resources:
Joshua Hartshorne is an assistant professor of psychology at Boston College, and the founder of GamesWithWords.org. He is broadly interested in human behavior, with a particular interest in language and inference. By "inference," he means the application of learned information to make predictions about a novel situation.
Josh de Leeuw is focused on the development and application of Internet-based tools for the study of human cognition. He created the widely-used jsPsych experiment software for conducting behavioral experiments online. He uses these tools to study how people learn and represent new information.
Becky Gilbert is a post-doctoral scientist and web developer at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, UK. In addition to web-based experiment methods, she's interested in speech perception, comprehension, and short-term memory for speech.
Dr. Jennifer Rodd’s research focuses on how people are able to understand language. What are the cognitive and brain processes that are necessary to understand another person’s speech? For instance, understanding a sentence is more than simply understanding the constituent words — these need to be integrated into a larger conceptual framework and this very often involves resolving ambiguity in the meaning of words. People use a number of different strategies to do this and Jenni’s work aims to identify these, to understand how they work mechanistically, and to explore their underpinnings in the brain.
Constance is a web developer, psychology researcher, and musician with a background working with jsPsych and Pushkin through the Music Lab at Harvard University. Constance is beginning a PhD at UCLA in Communication in Fall 2020, and is passionate about studying how we can harness creative and digital tools to communicate our moods and identities to connect as social beings.
Parker is a postbaccalaureate research assistant in the Language Learning Lab at Boston College. He is interested in using web-based experimental methods to bring a larger and more diverse pool of research participants to language science. In particular, he would like to use these methods to investigate the morphology and syntax of understudied languages and to contribute to the language documentation efforts of endangered language communities.