Running Behavioral Experiments With Human Participants: A Practical Guide provides a concrete, practical roadmap for the implementation of experiments and controlled observation using human participants. Covering both conceptual and practical issues critical to implementing an experiment, the book is organized to follow the standard process in experiment-based research, covering such issues as potential ethical problems, risks to validity, experimental setup, running a study, and concluding a study.
The detailed guidance on each step of an experiment is ideal for those in both universities and industry who have had little or no previous practical training in research methodology. The book provides example scenarios to help readers organize how they run experimental studies and anticipate problems, and example forms that can serve as effective initial “recipes.” Examples and forms are drawn from areas such as cognitive psychology, human factors, human-computer interaction, and human-robotic interaction.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Individuals who conduct behavioral research with human participants as part of their jobs, like other specialists, have developed a set of good practices, standard methodology, and specialized vocabulary for discussing the research process. If you have taken a course in research methods or read a standard research methods textbook, much of this vocabulary will be familiar to you. We assume, however, that many readers of this book are new to research or will find some reminders useful. If you are new, the practical techniques learned through a hands-on apprenticeship might not be available to you in your situation, and providing that knowledge is the purpose of this book.
We focus here on behavioral research, by which we mean research with the primary object of observing, ...