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BPS Cog­ni­tive Psy­chol­o­gy Section: Helping Researchers Take Exper­i­ments Online
Has your research stalled?

Find out how researchers have lib­er­at­ed their lab with rapid project grants!

The past year has been a dif­fi­cult time for behav­iour­al science research. No longer being able to work face-to-face with par­tic­i­pants meant a lot of research was put on hold until new plans were created. Many researchers and stu­dents have suc­cess­ful­ly moved their exper­i­ments online, enabling them to con­tin­ue col­lect­ing data in a safe and secure manner.

Tight sched­ules and small budgets mean that post­grad­u­ate research stu­dents have been hit par­tic­u­lar­ly hard by the pandemic.

Rapid project grants

To get researchers up and running again, several rapid grants have been created. For example, the British Psy­cho­log­i­cal Society’s (BPS) Cog­ni­tive Psy­chol­o­gy Section created a Post­grad­u­ate Rapid Project Grant. This is specif­i­cal­ly designed to help post­grad­u­ate researchers who had to make unex­pect­ed changes to their research projects as a result of the pan­dem­ic. This grant pro­vid­ed researchers with up to £400 to help cover costs with moving research online, making them perfect for pur­chas­ing Gorilla tokens and cov­er­ing par­tic­i­pant payment.

Success stories

Several grant winners have taken research online with Gorilla, here are their stories…

How would you explain your current research topic in a couple of sentences?

My research inves­ti­gates indi­vid­ual dif­fer­ences in children’s lan­guage acqui­si­tion, and I am inter­est­ed in finding out how the speed of autom­a­ti­za­tion pre­dicts dif­fer­ences in children’s lin­guis­tic ability. I am par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about lan­guage dif­fi­cul­ties expe­ri­enced by chil­dren with devel­op­men­tal lan­guage dis­or­der (DLD) and I hope that my research find­ings will enable us to develop sup­port­ing ther­a­pies for chil­dren with DLD.

 

Why did you decide to use Gorilla for this research?

I had been plan­ning an online exper­i­men­tal task and after attend­ing the BeOn­line con­fer­ence in March 2020, I decided to use Gorilla. I was very impressed with the ease of design­ing my task as well as the support from the script­ing team for more advanced coding. Gorilla is a very pro­fes­sion­al inter­face, and our lab is now using Gorilla for all our online research.

 

What piece of advice would you give to other post­grad­u­ate stu­dents looking to take their research online?

  1. Pilot your study exten­sive­ly before launch­ing it online.
  2. Con­sid­er the types of devices that people may use to run your study, for example, can the study be adapted to tablet/mobile phone as well as laptop/computer?

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

Moving my research online has had a number of pos­i­tive ben­e­fits as it meant that I could con­tin­ue with my research during the pan­dem­ic and it also enabled me to reach a wide group of par­tic­i­pants without the lim­i­ta­tions of travel. I have been able to adver­tise my research through­out the United Kingdom and have really enjoyed meeting chil­dren and their parents from all over the country.

 

Ashley Blake, Uni­ver­si­ty of Birmingham

 

How would you explain your current research topic in a couple of sentences?

My doc­tor­al research is inves­ti­gat­ing the effects of emoji on dif­fer­ent stages of textual infor­ma­tion pro­cess­ing in human par­tic­i­pants, ranging from the early phases of visual atten­tion (e.g., gaze behav­iour during reading) to the later points of memory encod­ing and retrieval. The grant received by the BPS Cog­ni­tive Section was used to fund an experiment exam­in­ing the latter on the effects of emoji on memory recall.

 

Why did you decide to use Gorilla for this research?

Gorilla was ini­tial­ly rec­om­mend­ed to me by a col­league, so I decided to try it. After a few days of use, I found it had a great balance between its ease of use during experiment build­ing, its capac­i­ty for build­ing complex tasks in a short period of time, and its level of pre­ci­sion during task pre­sen­ta­tion that is lacking in many alter­na­tive builders.

 

What piece of advice would you give to other post­grad­u­ate stu­dents looking to take their research online?

Make sure the soft­ware, tools, and tasks you are plan­ning to apply in your research are appro­pri­ate for the online envi­ron­ment, and if not, be flex­i­ble and do not be afraid to seek out alternatives.

 

Chris Robus, Uni­ver­si­ty of Bedfordshire

What’s next?

Are you inspired? The next round of the BPS Cog­ni­tive Psy­chol­o­gy Section’s Post­grad­u­ate Rapid Project Grant is open for appli­ca­tions now! The closing date is Friday 12th March 2021, so you still have time to start your online research journey.

If you apply and are suc­cess­ful, please do get in touch and tell me more about your research at [email protected]

Ash­leigh Johnstone

Ash­leigh is a recent PhD grad­u­ate now working for Gorilla Experiment Builder who are rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing online behav­iour­al science in acad­e­mia and beyond. After writing and sub­mit­ting her thesis during the pan­dem­ic, she is on a per­son­al mission to ensure no student gets left behind this year.