What do you work on?
I study how people learn to avoid fear and pain.
What did you do using Gorilla and what did you find?
I have run multiple experiments in Gorilla. The common thread is that I study how individuals learn to avoid fear and pain related stimuli.
My recent experiment consisted of a computer task and the filling out of many questionnaires. During the task participants have to learn to associate a neutral picture (i.e., picture of a red lamp) with the presentation of a loud scream, and another neutral picture (i.e., picture of a green lamp) with the absence of the loud scream. Afterwards, participants were informed that they could avoid the presentation of the scream by means of a button-press. During the questionnaire part of the experiment, we tested several individual differences using well-validated questionnaires. This includes trait anxiety and intolerance of uncertainty measures.
Did you include any special features in your study to ensure good quality data?
We had to include some attention checks at the end of the task to ensure that participants learned the main contingencies of the experiment.
For you, what is the stand-out feature in Gorilla?
What is the most exciting piece of work or research you’ve ever done?
I like the recent work we do in the exploration-exploitation dilemma in pain. We have recently published a paper on it: Krypotos, A.-M., Crombez, G., Alves, M., Claes, N. & Vlaeyen, J. (2022). The exploration-exploitation dilemma in pain: an experimental investigation. PAIN, 163, e215-e233.
What real-world problem do you see that your research could impact?
My overarching goal is to learn to predict which individuals will develop anxiety symptomatology or chronic pain.
How do you think online research is going to change your field?
Online research allows us to reach many individuals in a short time. Of course, there could be more room for noise, but given that you include many participants and include some attention checks, this noise will be reduced.
How did Gorilla make your life or research better, easier or faster?
When I had to move all my research online, due to COVID, Gorilla was a life saver as I did not have to spend so much time learning it.
What science book have your read recently that you’d recommend to others?
Statistical Rethinking by Richard McElreath. I read it more than 5 years ago but still this book is something else.
What is the biggest advantage of online research methods?
That you can get enormous amounts of data, fast.
When you’re not working what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy working to begin with. Apart from that, I enjoy trying new things, with most of them failing but still not a day should be boring!