Psyc 798J: Graduate Seminar Special Topics: Doing Psychological Research on the Internet: Issues and Methods, Fall 2013

Course Description:

In the past ten years the Internet has taken off. At the same time a number of researchers in psychology have started to use the Internet as a vehicle for hosting online experiments of all sorts. In this course we will look at all of the issues regarding the use of this media and learn some of the programming and computer skills to host our own experiments online.

This course will cover the following topics:

Students will be involved in a project of setting up an online experiment, collecting the (pilot) data, and helping to write up the results for online dissemination.

For examples of online experiments in my lab, go to

Grades will be based on class participation, assignments, and completion of a class project.

Instructor: Dr. Kent L. Norman

Office: BPS 3123F
phone: (301) 405-5924

Accessing Psyc 798J/ Inst 728E Materials from the World Wide Web

You must have a Web browser connected to the Internet. You should use Firefox as the browser, NOT Internet Explorer.

Go to URL

You should see a list of courses in the left hand frame. Click login for Psyc 798J/ Inst 728E

You will be asked for a password to enter the courseware area.

Enter username: psyc798
Enter password: psyc798

You will then see the class list in the right hand frame. Click on your name to get into your files.

You will then be asked for another password to enter your private area.

Enter your account name (s60##) for the username
Enter password: the last 4 digits of your university id number

These passwords are to keep the class materials and your materials (grades and assignments) private so the rest of the world cannot access them.

Please be patient. The home screen takes a while time to load. Some modules are not yet in operation. If errors occur, please print or copy down what is on the screen so that we can fix the problem.

Book marking: Bookmark ONLY

If you start at other pages your name will not be properly logged in when you submit assignments.


PSYC798J/INST728E: Doing Psychological Research on the Internet: Issues and Methods

Introduction to Research on the Internet

Proj 1: Class Profile

Plan for the Course

Tools, Examples, and Techniques
Readings 1
Proj 2: Being a Participant

Commercial Packages vs. Do It Yourself

Web Page Design
Readings 2
Proj 3: HTML Page


Hosting Surveys
Readings 3
Proj 4: Qualtronics Survey


Sampling Issues
Readings 4
Proj 5: FileMaker Survey


Ethical Issues
Readings 5
Proj 6: Javascript

More Javascript

Implementing Experimental Designs
Readings 6
Proj 7: Finding Violators

Task Flow

Dealing with Databases
Readings 7
Proj 8: Data Analysis

FileMaker, MySQL, php, etc.

Getting Demographics
Readings 8
Proj 9: Demographics

Statistical Analysis

Getting Response Times and Clicks
Readings 9

More Statistical Analyses

Randomizing and Counterbalancing
Readings 10

More Javascript and php

Social Networking Research
Readings 11
Proj 10: Data Mining

Wikis, blogs, chat, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Thanksgiving Break

Data Mining on the Internet
Readings 12

Trolling the Web

Project Presentations