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Collecting Experimental Data Online: Consumer Behavior Lab

By Jeff • Jan 12th, 2009

For those of you that don’t know, a couple of years ago I created consumerbehaviorlab.com, an online research lab. I primarily use Flash to program the experiments and have collected a great deal of invaluable data. To date, my colleagues and I have run 80 experiments and collected data from 14,056 participants. Not bad for just over 2 years of up time! There are currently 2,755 active participants of varied demographic backgrounds. 

This isn’t an attempt to brag, but rather a suggestion for other behavioral researchers: collect data online! It’s easy, fast, and inexpensive. We usually let participants participate for about 5 days (though 95% complete the study within 24 hours) and pay them with entry into a $50 lottery. When was the last time “real life” participants came that cheaply? So if you have the means, go out and conquer! There is much data to be had.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about online data collection, so if you have any questions about how I do it, don’t hesitate to ask.


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