The Purple Lab

Experiment Participation

Earn Some Money: Help Us Out!

In order to conduct research, members of the Language and Cognition Lab rely on people to participate in experiments. Participation is compensated in the form class credit or money (sometimes as much $10 dollars per hour!).

Each semester, there are a multitude of studies being conducted in the lab. These studies usually look at a variety of languages ranging from English, Spanish, Chinese, to Dutch. Chances are, if you speak one or more languages (be it fluently, proficiently, or enough to get by), we can find an experiment for you!

If you are interested in participating, please contact one of our lab members.

More Details

Many different experimental methodologies are used and none of them are invasive. The majority of our studies are conducted by having the you sit at a computer. For example, you may be asked to name words or pictures that appear on the screen and make judgements about them using a button box or keyboard. In other types of experiments, you might be asked to read sets of sentences and answer questions about them.

Sometimes, more advanced methods of data collection are used. For example, ERP experiments (event related potentials) measure brain activity of participants while performing a task. This is done through a cloth cap containing electrodes that monitor brain waves. In eyetracking experiments, participants will usually read words or sentences while a small camera watches his or her eyes. This camera is capable of detecting the extremely fast movements of the eyes called saccades.

Each of these expermental methods will give us data in different forms: reaction times while reading a sentence or making a decision, recorded brain waves, or lengths of fixations on words. Using this data we can come to generalizations about how people process language.

(For even more on our methodologies, visit our research page)