What happens in a behavioral experiment?
Psychology is full of interesting questions and interesting ways to test them. A lot of the research in our lab involves behavioral experiments. We call them “behavioral” because they examine human behavior as the primary measure of interest, as opposed to other methods used in the lab that study brain function or brain damage. There are lots of different tasks used in behavioral experiments and each one differs in terms of what you are asked to do.
When you arrive to participate in a behavioral experiment, you will be welcomed, given a consent form to read and sign, and instructed about what task(s) need to be completed. Most of our behavioral experiments are computer based. During these tasks, you watch something on a computer screen and use the keyboard or mouse to make responses. The tasks our lab uses vary widely, including asking you to report what images look like and testing your learning or memory for certain information. Each task addresses a different research question and offers a slightly different experience to participants. By studying behavior we can continue to gain rich insights into how the mind works.