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Behavior Research Methods

Anne S Hsu, Jay B Martin, Adam N Sanborn, Thomas L Griffiths
With the explosion of "big data," digital repositories of texts and images are growing rapidly. These datasets present new opportunities for psychological research, but they require new methodologies before researchers can use these datasets to yield insights into human cognition. We present a new method that allows psychological researchers to take advantage of text and image databases: a procedure for measuring human categorical representations over large datasets of items, such as arbitrary words or pictures...
February 13, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Joseph M Arizpe, Elyana Saad, Ayooluwa O Douglas, Laura Germine, Jeremy B Wilmer, Joseph M DeGutis
Severe developmental deficits in face recognition ability (developmental prosopagnosia, or DP) have been vigorously studied over the past decade, yet many questions remain unanswered about their origins, nature, and social consequences. A rate-limiting factor in answering such questions is the challenge of recruiting rare DP participants. Although self-reported experiences have long played a role in efforts to identify DPs, much remains unknown about how such self-reports can or should contribute to screening or diagnosis...
February 13, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Inbal Arnon
Do commonly used statistical-learning tasks capture stable individual differences in children? Infants, children, and adults are capable of using statistical learning (SL) to extract information about their environment. Although most studies have looked at group-level performance, a growing literature examines individual differences in SL and their relation to language-learning outcomes: Individuals who are better at SL are expected to show better linguistic abilities. Accordingly, studies have shown positive correlations between SL performance and language outcomes in both children and adults...
February 12, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Mora Maldonado, Ewan Dunbar, Emmanuel Chemla
Mouse tracking promises to be an efficient method to investigate the dynamics of cognitive processes: It is easier to deploy than eyetracking, yet in principle it is much more fine-grained than looking at response times. We investigated these claimed benefits directly, asking how the features of decision processes-notably, decision changes-might be captured in mouse movements. We ran two experiments, one in which we explicitly manipulated whether our stimuli triggered a flip in decision, and one in which we replicated more ecological, classical mouse-tracking results on linguistic negation (Dale & Duran, Cognitive Science, 35, 983-996, 2011)...
February 12, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Joshua K Hartshorne, Joshua R de Leeuw, Noah D Goodman, Mariela Jennings, Timothy J O'Donnell
Half of the world's population has internet access. In principle, researchers are no longer limited to subjects they can recruit into the laboratory. Any study that can be run on a computer or mobile device can be run with nearly any demographic anywhere in the world, and in large numbers. This has allowed scientists to effectively run hundreds of experiments at once. Despite their transformative power, such studies remain rare for practical reasons: the need for sophisticated software, the difficulty of recruiting so many subjects, and a lack of research paradigms that make effective use of their large amounts of data, due to such realities as that they require sophisticated software in order to run effectively...
February 11, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Ying Li, Tomas Engelthaler, Cynthia S Q Siew, Thomas T Hills
The recent rise in digitized historical text has made it possible to quantitatively study our psychological past. This involves understanding changes in what words meant, how words were used, and how these changes may have responded to changes in the environment, such as in healthcare, wealth disparity, and war. Here we make available a tool, the Macroscope, for studying historical changes in language over the last two centuries. The Macroscope uses over 155 billion words of historical text, which will grow as we include new historical corpora, and derives word properties from frequency-of-usage and co-occurrence patterns over time...
February 11, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Jonathan Peirce, Jeremy R Gray, Sol Simpson, Michael MacAskill, Richard Höchenberger, Hiroyuki Sogo, Erik Kastman, Jonas Kristoffer Lindeløv
PsychoPy is an application for the creation of experiments in behavioral science (psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, etc.) with precise spatial control and timing of stimuli. It now provides a choice of interface; users can write scripts in Python if they choose, while those who prefer to construct experiments graphically can use the new Builder interface. Here we describe the features that have been added over the last 10 years of its development. The most notable addition has been that Builder interface, allowing users to create studies with minimal or no programming, while also allowing the insertion of Python code for maximal flexibility...
February 7, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Angelika M Stefan, Quentin F Gronau, Felix D Schönbrodt, Eric-Jan Wagenmakers
Well-designed experiments are likely to yield compelling evidence with efficient sample sizes. Bayes Factor Design Analysis (BFDA) is a recently developed methodology that allows researchers to balance the informativeness and efficiency of their experiment (Schönbrodt & Wagenmakers, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 25(1), 128-142 2018). With BFDA, researchers can control the rate of misleading evidence but, in addition, they can plan for a target strength of evidence. BFDA can be applied to fixed-N and sequential designs...
February 4, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Abhilasha A Kumar, Sudheendra Hangal, Allyson C Rosen
An important question that arises from autobiographical memory research is whether the variables that influence memory in the laboratory also drive memory for autobiographical episodes in real life. We explored this question within the context of e-mail communications and investigated the variables that influence recall for personally familiar names and temporal information in e-mails. We designed a Web-based program that analyzed each participant's year-old sent e-mail archive and applied textual analysis algorithms to identify a set of sentences likely to be memorable...
February 4, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Ronen Hershman, Avishai Henik, Noga Cohen
Pupil dilation is an effective indicator of cognitive and affective processes. Although several eyetracker systems on the market can provide effective solutions for pupil dilation measurement, there is a lack of tools for processing and analyzing the data provided by these systems. For this reason, we developed CHAP: open-source software written in MATLAB. This software provides a user-friendly graphical user interface for processing and analyzing pupillometry data. Our software creates uniform conventions for the preprocessing and analysis of pupillometry data and provides a quick and easy-to-use tool for researchers interested in pupillometry...
February 1, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Kuan-Yu Jin, Hui-Fang Chen
Likert or rating scales may elicit an extreme response style (ERS), which means that responses to scales do not reflect the ability that is meant to be measured. Research has shown that the presence of ERS could lead to biased scores and thus influence the accuracy of differential item functioning (DIF) detection. In this study, a new method under the multiple-indicators multiple-causes (MIMIC) framework is proposed as a means to eliminate the impact of ERS in DIF detection. The findings from a series of simulations showed that a difference in ERS between groups caused inflated false-positive rates and deflated true-positive rates in DIF detection when ERS was not taken into account...
January 31, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Jeffrey S Brooks, William J Smith, Brandon M Webb, Matthew D Heath, James P Dickey
Laboratory-based retroreflective and magnetic scleral search-coil technologies are the current standards for collecting saccadometric data, but such equipment is costly and cumbersome. We have validated a novel, portable, high-speed video camera-based system (Exilim EX-FH20, Casio, Tokyo, Japan) for measuring saccade reaction time (RT) and error rate in a well-lit environment. This system would enable measurements of pro- and antisaccades in athletes, which is important because antisaccade metrics provide a valid tool for concussion diagnosis and determining an athlete's safe return to play...
January 31, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Julie Lorah, Andrew Womack
The Bayesian information criterion (BIC) can be useful for model selection within multilevel-modeling studies. However, the formula for the BIC requires a value for sample size, which is unclear in multilevel models, since sample size is observed for at least two levels. In the present study, we used simulated data to evaluate the rate of false positives and the power when the level 1 sample size, the effective sample size, and the level 2 sample size were used as the sample size value, under various levels of sample size and intraclass correlation coefficient values...
January 25, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Martin Schoemann, Malte Lüken, Tobias Grage, Pascal J Kieslich, Stefan Scherbaum
Mouse-tracking is an increasingly popular process-tracing method. It builds on the assumption that the continuity of cognitive processing leaks into the continuity of mouse movements. Because this assumption is the prerequisite for meaningful reverse inference, it is an important question whether the assumed interaction between continuous processing and movement might be influenced by the methodological setup of the measurement. Here we studied the impacts of three commonly occurring methodological variations on the quality of mouse-tracking measures, and hence, on the reported cognitive effects...
January 25, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Juan Botella, Manuel Suero
Sometimes the reports of primary studies that are potentially analyzable within the signal detection theory framework do not report sample statistics for its main indexes, especially the sample variance of d'. We describe a procedure for estimating the variance of d' from other sample statistics (specifically, the mean and variance of the observed rates of hit and false alarm). The procedure acknowledges that individuals can be heterogeneous in their sensitivity and/or decision criteria, and it does not adopt unjustifiable or needlessly complex assumptions...
January 25, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Fan Jia, Wei Wu
Missing ordinal data are common in studies using structural equation modeling (SEM). Although several methods for dealing with missing ordinal data have been available, these methods often have not been systematically evaluated in SEM. In this study, we used Monte Carlo simulation to evaluate and compare five existing methods, including one direct robust estimation method and four multiple imputation methods, to deal with missing ordinal data. On the basis of the simulation results, we provide practical guidance to researchers in terms of the best way to deal with missing ordinal data in SEM...
January 25, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Nemanja Vaci, Dijana Cocić, Bartosz Gula, Merim Bilalić
Researchers interested in changes that occur as people age are faced with a number of methodological problems, starting with the immense time scale they are trying to capture, which renders laboratory experiments useless and longitudinal studies rather rare. Fortunately, some people take part in particular activities and pastimes throughout their lives, and often these activities are systematically recorded. In this study, we use the wealth of data collected by the National Basketball Association to describe the aging curves of elite basketball players...
January 25, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Eyal Sagi
Psychological researchers have traditionally focused on lab-based experiments to test their theories and hypotheses. Although the lab provides excellent facilities for controlled testing, some questions are best explored by collecting information that is difficult to obtain in the lab. The vast amounts of data now available to researchers can be a valuable resource in this respect. By incorporating this new realm of data and translating it into traditional laboratory methods, we can expand the reach of the lab into the wilderness of human society...
January 8, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
Alessandro Sanchez, Stephan C Meylan, Mika Braginsky, Kyle E MacDonald, Daniel Yurovsky, Michael C Frank
The Child Language Data Exchange System (CHILDES) has played a critical role in research on child language development, particularly in characterizing the early language learning environment. Access to these data can be both complex for novices and difficult to automate for advanced users, however. To address these issues, we introduce childes-db, a database-formatted mirror of CHILDES that improves data accessibility and usability by offering novel interfaces, including browsable web applications and an R application programming interface (API)...
January 8, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
A S N Kim, A M B Wong-Kee-You, M Wiseheart, R S Rosenbaum
Many studies have shown that repetition of study material with temporal gaps between the repetitions (i.e., spaced in time) is more effective for long-term retention than are repetitions in immediate succession (i.e., massed; Greene, 1989). Although this spacing effect has proven to be robust in the laboratory (Cepeda, Pashler, Vul, Wixted, & Rohrer, 2006), its status in the real world is relatively understudied. Other research has demonstrated the benefit of memory retrieval on subsequent retrieval of the same information (Bjork, 1975, 1988; Roediger & Karpicke, 2006), referred to as the testing effect...
January 8, 2019: Behavior Research Methods
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