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Gorilla FAQ

  • Overview
  • Product
  • What is Gorilla?
  • Why 'Gorilla'?
  • The Business Case for Gorilla
  • Gorilla Features: At a Glance
  • Testimonials
  • Teaching
  • Citing and Publications
  • Technical
  • Online Timing Accuracy
  • Gorilla Around the World
  • The Code Editor
  • Account
  • My Account Settings
  • Licensing

Overview


Welcome to Gorilla FAQ page! Here you will find answers to most frequently asked questions regarding Gorilla Product, Online Timing Accuracy, My Account Settings and more. Navigate through the menu to the left to find more information on each topic.

If you are looking for Gorilla Legal Documents, information about Ethics Application, GDPR Complience, Data Protection and Security etc. visit our Due Diligence page.


What is Gorilla?


The Gorilla Experiment Builder is a cloud based research platform that allows researchers and students to quickly and easily create and deploy behavioural (reaction-time) experiments online.

In a nutshell, how does it work?

Simply login to Gorilla using your browser to access:

  • A questionnaire builder
  • A task builder
  • An experiment configuration tool

Create your component questionnaires and tasks and then link them together into an overall experimental protocol.

Then deploy your experiment online and recruit your participants. You can do this via social media (i.e. Facebook) or paid services via our trusted partners (Prolific, mTurk, SONA and more) or by email.


How is this different to a survey tool?

Survey tools allow you to ask explicit questions and get subjective responses from the respondent.

In contrast, a behavioural study typically has lots of trials that capture the respondents behaviour in terms of accuracy and reaction times. From these raw metrics, secondary metrics can be derived to get an objective measure of behaviour.

Gorilla is built for running behavioural studies. The task builder is fully tooled – you don’t have to code – so you can create your study quickly and easily. You then configure the experiment protocol in the Experiment Tree tool.

This allows you to add randomisation, counterbalancing, repeats and delays to create a wide range of experiments designs.

Find out more about our tools here.


What else?

We know that novel research sometimes needs completely new functionality! As well as the tooled environment Gorilla allows you to augment the functionality we provide by adding scripts (snippets of JavaScript) or build a task from scratch in the Code Editor.


Why 'Gorilla'?


We were chatting to a client, and in a moment of frustration with their current tools they said 'I just want something as easy to use as Survey Monkey, for putting reaction time tasks online. Is that too much to ask?'

To which we responded 'Oh, so you want a bigger and better monkey! Maybe a Gorilla?'

The name stuck.

(Pedants: yes, yes, Gorillas are apes, not monkeys. Five points to Griffindor!)


The Business Case for Gorilla


How much does it cost?


Build for free. Pay per participant.

This means it’s completely free to sign up to Gorilla and to use our questionnaires, task and experiment creation tools. We only charge for data collection. Our current prices are shown here.

This model allows universities to teach students how to create tasks and experiments—unimpeded by cost, subscription plans or number of users. Once researchers or students have built a study they’re happy with, they simply deploy it online for data to be collected.

Can you give me an example?

Each student could send the link to a handful of friends, and once the data is in, the entire class can analyse the data. One study with 200 participants would cost just £150 + VAT.

Do you do departmental subscriptions?

We offer lab subscriptions starting at £1,000 + VAT and department subscriptions starting at £4,000 + VAT. Visit our Pricing page for more details.


What are the benefits of Gorilla?


What are the benefits for students and teaching staff?

  1. Students can design and create experiments —without learning to code. This means they’re focused on what’s most important: the psychological methodology and operationalisation of their experiments; instead of losing hours of valuable time to coding.
  2. Students enjoy their research methods course – increasing their engagement with and ratings of a large component of their course
  3. Students have more time to analyse their data—improving their quantitative and analytical skills.
  4. Students are more able to conduct quantitative analysis—increasing their employability with employers who place high value on this skill. Gorilla removes the barrier to quantitative research online, improving the balance between qualitative and quantitative research.
  5. Students can more easily share resources and submit assignments for marking—thanks to Gorilla’s teaching tools. This lightens the load for teaching staff, by dramatically reducing the amount of time spent teaching students to code or supervising complex experiments.

What are the benefits for Researchers?

Researchers can design, create and complete studies in record time—and for a fraction of the cost of traditional methods

This means that entire studies can be condensed into days, rather than weeks—and for very little cost. Productivity is uplifted, and dead ends that might have taken months to uncover are quickly resolved.


What about Technical Staff and Supervisors?

Because Gorilla is so easy to use, technical staff have fewer support queries—freeing them up to help elsewhere.

When queries do arise, resolving them is faster (and can be done from anywhere) thanks to Gorilla’s online interface.


Any other benefits?


Gorilla reduces the cost of computing and equipment

Gorilla operates on any device with a browser. Which means students can use their own laptops for lab work. Over time, this puts less pressure on the department to provide expensive computers.


Gorilla reduces the cost of facilities

Data can be collected online, which also reduces the need for testing rooms. This frees up valuable real-estate within the department and reduces facilities costs.


Gorilla reduces the need for on-site attendance

For online courses, students can work from any location, which means they don’t have to come to the department to get practical lab experience. This convenient way of working frees up space and reduces facilities and staff costs.


What support is provided by Gorilla?


Sample tasks available in Gorilla can be cloned for easy, time-saving adaptation. Our support pages also provide everything you need to use the software.

We also offer technical email support to paying clients. However, we encourage students to problem solve themselves, as much as possible. In this way, they learn more, while accurately reflecting their skill level.


Gorilla Features: At a Glance


In Gorilla, we created numerous features to give you felxibility in creating your online experiments.

See our list of Gorilla Features here.


Why researchers and students like Gorilla:


'Gorilla is designed for psychologists, so it has all the relevant options. I've found it really easy to use and very flexible.'

Hannah Betts, University College London

'Gorilla is quite simply a revolutionary product for the field of psychology. With so much of the field collecting data over the Internet, the unrivalled flexibility of Gorilla to create any behavioural task quickly and easily is invaluable. On top of that, it provides many complex tasks ready-made, as well as integration with many participant pools like SONA and Prolific.ac. In short, Gorilla really will transform your research and is a fantastic investment.'

Alex Jones, Swansea University

'Massively impressed with Gorilla. Logged on for the first time yesterday lunchtime. Had a demo experiment ready for students to adapt by 6pm the same day.'

Jenni Rodd, Senior Lecturer, UCL

'I use Gorilla in my research on typical and atypical social abilities. This combines experimental tasks and questionnaire measures, in a way that is not possible using other platforms. I found the platform intuitive, easily to learn, but also very powerful. And I have also been extremely impressed with the enthusiasm and (personalized) support from the Gorilla Team, and believe the platform has potential to be the market leader in online experimentation, both in and outside of academic settings!'

Punit Shah, Kings College London

'Gorilla is a great product providing great value to researchers conducting online experiments. The workflow is very clear and cleverly designed. It is a very efficient, flexible and powerful way of creating online experiments. The user interface is super user-friendly and there is practically no learning curve. Thanks for the great support service, too.'

Wing Lau, Xi'an Jiaotong, Liverpool University

'Gorilla lets me take my experiments online quickly and efficiently. The clear and straightforward interface allows me to map out the logic of my experimental designs, whilst its modular nature helps me to build and test components as I go. Taking my research online will dramatically increase my sample size, and help me to reach groups under-represented in my field.

Alexandra Hendry, Kings College London


Read more testimonials from our clients here.


Teaching


Gorilla is an ideal environment for teaching Research Methods, as students can get valuable experience in operationalising experiments, collecting data, and analysing the data collected.

The Experiment Tree makes the experimental design clear, which can often help students understand whether their experiment is adequately controlled.

  • Getting Started: When students are getting started it can be useful to provide them with an experiment where they can change the preconfigured manipulations. For instance, they may change the timing of a task.
  • Beginner: Next, students may start to tweak tasks an questionnaires. They may use different stimuli, to answer a different question. Or add questions to look at alternative correlations.
  • Branching Out: Next, students may start to author their own novel tasks in the code builder.
  • Expert: Finally, students may start to use the Scripting Tools or Code Editor.

We have a suite of tools that allow teachers to manage classrooms. These allow you to:

  • upload lists of class members
  • share resources with them, and
  • receive submissions from them

If you want your students to try out a task for free (i.e. without using your tokens), you could add your students as collaborators to your project and they will be able to try it out for free using the preview. If you want to collect their data, they will need to download it when the option comes up at the end of the task/experiment, as it is not saved.

For Masters students who may not have the time or inclination to learn to code, Gorilla offers a user-friendly environment in which to author completely novel tasks.


Case Studies

Read our Case Studies about UCL's and Birkbeck's experiences here:


Citing and Publications


Citing Gorilla

To refer to Gorilla in an ethics application, grant application or article for publication, please link to the main website or to the About page. We also recommend stating the date window within which data was collected, so that someone reading the study could cross-references this with our release notes.

Example Text

We used the Gorilla Experiment Builder (www.gorilla.sc) to create and host our experiment (Anwyl-Irvine, Massonnié, Flitton, Kirkham & Evershed, 2018). Data was collected between 01 Jan 2017 and 15 Jan 2017. Participants were recruited through [Facebook / Prolific / Research Now].

Citation:

Published Paper (Preferred Citation)

Anwyl-Irvine, A.L., Massonié J., Flitton, A., Kirkham, N.Z., Evershed, J.K. (2019).
Gorilla in our midst: an online behavioural experiment builder.
Behavior Research Methods.
Doi: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-019-01237-x

Pre-Print

Anwyl-Irvine, A., Massonnié, J., Flitton, A., Kirkham, N. and Evershed, J. (2018).
Gorilla in our Midst: An online behavioral experiment builder
bioRxiv, 438242
doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/438242

To refer to Gorilla in an ethics application, grant application or article for publication, please link to the main website or to the About page.

We also recommend stating the date window within which data was collected, so that someone reading the study could cross-references this with our release notes.


Publications

A list of publications that cite Gorilla can be found here.


Interviews

We also have the following interviews from ambitious researchers that have embraced online research methods.

  • Juliet Usher Smith who ran an interventional study in doctors’ surgeries to measure how patients responded to their cancer risk score with the aim of promoting cancer prevention behaviours.
  • Kyle Jasmin who has pioneered online auditory research in order to access specific and hard to reach populations. His research has shown how people re-calibrate their speech perception system to compensate for specific weaknesses.
  • Claire Gothreau who is integrating behavioural methods into the political sciences. Her research studies the connection between masculinity threat and attitudes to reproductive rights.
  • Adrian Banks who studies how we think, and how we can improve our automatic thinking. His research has implication for how we guard ourselves against fake news.
  • Masa Vujovic who taught participants an artificial language in order to understand the visual and environmental cues that help people learn complex syntax.

Open Science

Gorilla Open Materials is our contribution to Open Science on the Gorilla platform. Gorilla Open Materials is an open-access repository within Gorilla where you can publish your experiments, tasks and questionnaires. This will enable researchers across the world to:

  • Experience your study protocol
  • Inspect the configuration settings of your protocol, tasks and questionnaires
  • Clone your study protocol, tasks and questionnaires for their own research

Read more on the benefits of publishing your tasks, questionnaires and experiments to Gorilla Open Materials here and learn how to do this through our Open Materials 'How to' Guide.


Online Timing Accuracy


Gorilla Experiment Builder is designed to resolve many timing issues and make reliable online experimentation open and accessible to a wider range of technical abilities. We use high resolution timers for accurate reaction times and frame counting for accurate stimuli presentation times - techniques that have only recently become available in all major browsers.

In 2019, we published our paper on timing accuracy in Gorilla. You can read it here.

Recently, we have also uploaded a pre-print where we examined the timing accuracies on various online platforms, browsers, and devices. You can read it here.

See our Timing in Gorilla website for a detailed technical overview of the timing techniques employed in Gorilla and to learn more about timing in online experiments through some extra resources.


Gorilla Around the World


Gorilla supports a full range of characters sets in Tasks and Questionnaires including, but not limited to, Chinese, Arabic and Hebrew, so you can interact with participants around the world.

If you want to include text in a language that reads right-to-left, in a rich text or HTML zone, you can to move your punctuation to the beginning of your sentences by using the unicode character ‫.

You can also add <div style="text-align:right;">your text here</div> to align your text to the right.

Task spreadsheet cells will also accept formatting.


The Code Editor


Code in Gorilla is written in TypeScript, which is a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript. The reason we chose TypeScript over plain JavaScript is that TypeScript offers a wealth of useful features that make writing code easier, and because many of those features are destined to become part of the ES6 standard which is currently being ratified. This means that JavaScript will effectively become TypeScript, and so your code is future-proofed.

In terms of libraries, JQuery and Bootstrap are included by default.

Go here for more information about the code editor.


My Account Settings


Below you can find the answers to some most frequently asked questions about the user's account.

  • Can I change my email address or password?

    Yes! Go to your My Account page (in the right top corner menu) and then click on the Authentication tab.

  • Where can I find sign up offers I have received?

    Go to My Account page, Billing tab.

  • How do I change my email preferences?

    Go to My Account page, Mailing Lists tab.


Licensing


We have a seat licensing model. Each person signs up with their own email address and effectively has their own account. Each user then has complete control over any task, questionnaire, experiment and associated data that they have authored. This model fits with BPS (The British Psychological Society) requirements around data security; data is only accessible by the person that owns the experiment or those that they are collaborating with. Users can also collaborate on projects. When sharing projects the level of access (read, write, admin) can also be set.

We don't currently have the idea of student accounts and supervisors. Any account holder is able to publish their experiments and the onus is on them to ensure they have done so in compliance with their institutions ethics and code of conduct.


What happens when my licence expires?

When your licence expires, your account will revert to a Pay-per-Participant account. All you data, task, questionnaires and experiments will be maintained. You will still have access to all the editing tools and the previewing tools. You just won't be able to collect more data without first purchasing pay-per-participant tokens.