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Psychology


Fidget Widgets

Goof Off While You Work? You Might Be Doing Way More Than You Think.

Ever notice how people play with a thing — pen, paperclip, stress ball, magnets, marker, etc. — while lost in thought as they work? Maybe you do it too. There’s a powerful link between the hand and the brain. Research shows that our feelings, thoughts, and body are very much interconnected.

Our Fidget Widgets project is exploring this behavior and the opportunity for small, tangible, digital interactions to tap into what happens while people fiddle with objects as they work. Think of a Fidget Widget as a new kind of productivity tool aiming to subtly enhance your creativity, or give you focus, or decrease stress just when you need it.

Our study requires lots and lots of participation.

What we’ve learned so far is that people strongly desire surprisingly specific experiences in their hands. We're using a tumblr page to collect examples of items and materials and ways in which people fiddle with objects while at work. Only with many submissions will patterns emerge. These patterns will provide valuable insights into how people use objects to self-regulate their internal state as they work and will inform just where we go next.




Experiment

Experiment is a crowdfunding platform for scientific research. We want to allow anyone with a credit card to be a modern day patron of science.




Animal Ownership Interaction Study

Become part of a growing dog loving citizen science community – over 1,600 and growing – that will make a significant contribution to saving the lives of dogs. Register to anonymously participate in an online Study – the Animal Ownership Interaction Study - with Veterinarian behaviorist Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, BVMS, DVA, DACVA, DACVB at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinarian Medicine in research collaboration with James Serpell, Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinarian Medicine. This will be the largest owner-dog personality-behavior study ever conducted with a view to establishing once and for all how owner personality and psychological status affects a pet dog’s behavior.




Test Per-Project Signup

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Lookit

If you've ever wondered what your child is thinking or what it's like inside your newborn's mind, you're not alone.
The single most amazing computational engine known to mankind is your child's mind.

We're hoping to learn more about how babies and children learn by enlisting the help of their most dedicated and curious observers: their own parents!

By participating in a quick online activity with your child and submitting a webcam recording of his/her responses, you can contribute to our collective understanding of the fascinating phenomenon of children's learning.

In some experiments you'll step into the role of a researcher, asking your child questions or controlling the experiment based on what he or she does.

Traditionally, developmental studies happen in a quiet room in a university lab. Why complement these in-lab studies with online ones? We're hoping to...

...Make it easier for you to take part in research, especially for families without a stay-at-home parent

...Work with more kids when needed--right now a limiting factor in designing studies is the time it takes to recruit participants

...Draw conclusions from a more representative population of families--not just those who live near a university and are able to visit the lab during the day

...Make it easier for families to continue participating in longitudinal studies, which may involve multiple testing sessions separated by months or years

...Observe more natural behavior because children are at home rather than in an unfamiliar place

...Create a system for learning about special populations--for instance, children with specific developmental disorders

...Make the procedures we use in doing research more transparent, and make it easier to replicate our findings

...Communicate with families about the research we're doing and what we can learn from it




Which English?

One of the oldest findings in the study of the mind is that children are better at learning languages than adults. But when you bring children and adults into the lab, adults are better at any language-learning task you give them. So whatever is happening, it happens at a very different timescale than what we can study in the lab.

In this project, we are taking advantage of the fact that different people start learning English at different ages -- anything from birth to old age. We are using the Internet to get a very broad sample of people who started English and different ages and have different first languages -- a much, much more detailed survey than has ever been attempted before.

To help you get a sense of what we're learning as the project progresses, we've added some machine learning to the quiz that tries to guess your dialect. As we get more participants, the guesses will get more sophisticated, including guessing whether your native language is English.

We are also building interactive infographics to describe the data as it comes in. You can find them on our blog. The first one is available now at http://www.gameswithwords.org/WhichEnglish/dialect_results.html




The Winnower

Winnower is a new opportunity publish your scientific work.

Submission. Once you’re ready to publish your work with just a few simple clicks you can upload it to The Winnower website. It will be automatically formatted and open to read and review immediately.

Review. The paper can be reviewed by The Winnower community and authors are encouraged to gather reviews from their peers.

Revision. Based upon reviews received, papers will have the option of being revised. Previous comments will remain associated with the final publication.

Archival. Once the final version is posted your paper will be assigned a digital object identifier (DOI) and reviews will remain open for the duration of the papers life. Article-level metrics, including altmetrics and the reviews themselves will track the importance and accuracy of the paper.

Cost $100




Mind Paths

What is the perceived relation between words? This is still a complex issue for semantic specialists.

This experiment uses a video-game in order to create a semantic map where volunteers define the distances between words. Semantic analysis is a major challenge for science and innovation as it's a very complex task requiring advanced models and experts validations.

A common technique is to determine which words are very similar or have a related meaning. Related words can be considered as neighbors in a graphic map.




OSF SciNet

Problem: Scientific citations are frequently constrained by terms-of-use or within proprietary systems making it difficult to see connections in the literature.

Solution: OSF SciNet uses the open source Citelet extension to crowdsource a free, open, and comprehensive metadata dataset of scientific citations and corresponding references to unlock the citation network.

Impact: The dataset generated through this project will make it easier to see the connections in the scientific literature and to promote open science.




Quantum Moves

The Quantum Moves game was born out of the dilemmas and questions the quantum physics researchers at Aarhus University confronted with when they took the challenge of building a quantum computer in the basement lab of the university.

Confident that the human brain is able to do better than even the most advanced computational machines available in the world, the CODER team decided to create the "Quantum Moves" game and invite everyone to play and get the chance to do front-line quantum physics research.

The idea behind the game is simple: every time you play, your mouse movements are simulating the laser beams moves used in the real quantum lab to transport the atoms onto the right pathways.

Your goal is to achieve the best scores in "QComp" and "Beat AI" labs, which translate the most difficult scientific challenges, and thus help science make a step forward towards building a quantum computer.




Ignore That!

How distractable are you? How well can you ignore irrelevant information?

See your results at the end of this activity and help us learn more about the structure of language, meaning, and thought in the process.




Investigating Word Modalities

The experiment involves deciding whether given words are associated to different sensory modalities (sight and sound). You will be asked to complete an online questionnaire, assessing the sensory modality with which everyday words are most associated. This should take approximately 20 minutes and must be completed in one session. You will be presented with a list of words and asked to decide how much the given word gives you a sense of being auditory, visual or both. Each modality is rated from 1 to 6, where 1 is 'not at all' and 6 is 'very much'.

All answers will be given anonymously, and you will only be asked to indicate your age, gender, nationality, and English language proficiency. The data will be stored on a secure network and only members of the research group will have access to the data. They will be kept securely for a minimum of 10 years in the Department of Psychology in accordance with good research practice. Results from groups of individuals, without any means of identifying the individuals involved, may be written up in project reports or academic papers, or presented at conferences.




The VerbCorner Project

Dictionaries have existed for centuries, but scientists still haven't worked out the exact meanings for most words. This is a serious problem if you want to train computers to understand language. If we don't know what words mean, it's hard to teach computers what they mean. It is similarly hard to understand how children come learn the meanings of words, when we don't fully understand those meanings ourselves.

Rather than try to work out the definition of a word all at once, we have broken the problem into a series of separate tasks. Each task has a fanciful backstory -- which we hope you enjoy! -- but at its heart, each task is asking about a specific component of meaning that scientists suspect makes up one of the building blocks of meaning.

You can participate for as little as a few minutes or come back to the site over and over to help code the many thousands of words in English.




uBiome

uBiome is the world's first effort to map the human microbiome through citizen science.

What's the microbiome? The microbiome are the bacteria that live on and within us. It sounds kind of funny, but all of us are actually covered in helpful germs. Many conditions – from diabetes to depression, asthma to autism -- have been found to relate to the microbiome.

uBiome brings this cutting edge technology directly to consumers for the first time. The more data we collect, the more we can learn about this important area of research. We've been featured so far in Wired, Venture Beat, the Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, BoingBoing, and more.




AgeGuess

AgeGuess is a simple on-line citizen science project and game where people can guess your age based on the face photos you link/upload. You will also be guessing other people’s age and comparing your results with others. By participating in AgeGuess you will create a first of its kind research data set for the study of human aging.

AgeGuess investigates the differences between perceived age (how old you look to other people) and chronological age (how old you actually are) and their potential power as an aging biomarker. Some of the specific topic we would like to address include: 


- Perceived age as predictor (biomarker) for age at death. Are people who look older than they are more likely to die early?

- Is 60 the new 50? We know that nowadays the average 60 year old is capable of doing things that fewer people of the same age where able to do 50 years ago. Is this difference also reflected in how old they look?

Please visit the intro page of our website for more information about these and other topics, such as: are there times when one ages faster, is perceived age heritable, and at what age are you best at guessing. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have other ideas that you would like to help us explore.





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