Lecture 2 Slide Deck

Today we will discuss the ups and downs of online data collection for science. In addition, we'll take the first step towards running online experiments by creating and account with Amazon Web Services. We'll use this to access Mechanical Turk, but also this gives you access to a range of cloud-based computing tools. We'll also get set up with github, which is a code management/version control system with many useful social features. Finally, I'll show a quick and dirty way to collect data online using Google Forms.

Video 2.1

Do online experiments replicate what is found in the lab? Are online workers different than the undergraduate subject pool? How naive to experimental manipulations are online workers?

Video 2.2

Getting setup with Amazon Mechanical Turk and github.com.

Video 2.3

Simple stuff: Creating a simple web-enabled survey using Google Forms.


  1. Follow the instructions in the video to create both a worker and requester account on Mechanical Turk.
  2. Follow the instruction in the video to create a github.com account
  3. Fill out the Pre-class survey Google Form I showed you how to create in the video 2.3
  4. Be ready to discuss the content of the videos and the readings below for class Wednesday

Assigned Readings

Crump M.J.C., McDonnell, J.V., and Gureckis, T.M. (2013) Evaluating Amazon's Mechanical Turk as a Tool for Experimental Behavioral Research. PLoS ONE 8(3): e57410.
Chandler, J., Mueller, P., and Paolacci, G. (2013) Nonnaivete among Amazon Mechanical Turk workers: Consequences and soclutions for behavioral researchers. Behavioral research methods 8(3): e57410.

Additional References and Links

Experimental Turk - a blog on social science experiments on Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon's Mechanical Turk blog

What exactly is GitHub Anyway? [via techcrunch.com]
GitHub For Beginners: Don't Get Scared, Get Started [via readwrite.com]
Git for cognitive scientists by John McDonnell [via gureckislab blog]