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Running Behavioral Studies With Human Participants

Running Behavioral Studies With Human Participants
A Practical Guide

A practical, concrete roadmap to running behavioral experiments with human subjects.

November 2012 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

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.

1. Introduction
2. Preparation For Running Experiments
3. Potential Ethical Problems
4. Risks to Validity to Avoid While Running an Experiment
5. Running a Research Session
6. Concluding a Study
Appendix 1: A Checklist for Preparing Studies
Appendix 2: Example Scripts for Running Studies
Appendix 3: Example Consent Form
Appendix 4: Example Debriefing Form
Appendix 5: Example Institutional Review Board Application
Appendix 6: Considerations When Running a Study Online

excellent companion to Creswell book.

Dr Ernesto Rosario-Hernandez
Psychology , Ponce School of Medicine
July 3, 2013
Key features


  • Feature Summary: The summary is in descending order of importance, with item one representing what the authors' consider the most important contribution of the book.
  • Coherent view of how to implement the experimental process, including detailed discussions of the setup and running of behavioral studies, provides readers with a practical guide for implementing the experimental process.
  • Concrete contextualized examples speak to the diverse needs of the HCI, human factors, and cognitive science communities.
  • Practical coverage of risks and problems that can be anticipated and avoided helps contextualize ethical challenges that might arise during the course of designing, running, or concluding a study—demonstrating the principles of the Belmont report within an experimental context and helping researchers better anticipate potential ethical challenges.
  • Three running example scenarios drawn from industrial and academic settings help reinforce the major themes of each chapter by presenting those themes in slightly different ways through the challenges and situations confronted by the characters in each scenario.
  • Example forms offer models from which new experimenters can derive their own experimental documents (such as IRB applications, experimental scripts, consent forms, and room layouts) that meet their particular research needs.
  • Practical advice and examples of challenges associated with experimental setup and execution (such as how to set up experimental rooms, manage late or missing participants, and devise an effective experimental script) underscore and humanize key points in a memorable way, helping readers recall the major points of the book.
  • Strong pedagogy includes: Further readings, an appendix on running studies online, questions at the end of each chapter, and publication paths and publication types that encourage researchers to take ownership of the research process and engage in research in both a directed and methodical way. 

Sample Materials & Chapters


CH 5

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