Behavior Research Methods

Publisher: Psychonomic Society, Springer Verlag

Current impact factor: 2.93

Impact Factor Rankings

Additional details

5-year impact 3.90
Cited half-life 6.80
Immediacy index 0.23
Eigenfactor 0.02
Article influence 1.71
Other titles Behavior research methods (Online), Behavior research methods
ISSN 1554-3528
OCLC 57493288
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

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Springer Verlag

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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Houses have often been used as comparison stimuli in face-processing studies because of the many attributes they share with faces (e.g., distinct members of a basic category, consistent internal features, mono-orientation, and relative familiarity). Despite this, no large, well-controlled databases of photographs of houses that have been developed for research use currently exist. To address this gap, we photographed 100 houses and carefully edited these images. We then asked 41 undergraduate students (18 to 31 years of age) to rate each house on three dimensions: typicality, likeability, and face-likeness. The ratings had a high degree of face validity, and analyses revealed a significant positive correlation between typicality and likeability. We anticipate that this stimulus set (i.e., the DalHouses) and the associated ratings will prove useful to face-processing researchers by minimizing the effort required to acquire stimuli and allowing for easier replication and extension of studies. The photographs of all 100 houses and their ratings data can be obtained at .
    Behavior Research Methods 01/2016; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0561-8
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    ABSTRACT: The increased interest in complex-interactive behavior on the one hand and the cognitive and affective processes underlying behavior on the other are a challenge for researchers in psychology and behavioral economics. Research often necessitates that participants strategically interact with each other in dyads or groups. At the same time, to investigate the underlying cognitive and affective processes in a fine-grained manner, not only choices but also other variables such as decision time, information search, and pupil dilation should be recorded. The Bonn eXperimental System (BoXS) introduced in this article is an open-source platform that allows interactive as well as non-interactive experiments to be conducted while recording process measures very efficiently and completely browser-based. In the current version, BoXS has particularly been extended to enable conducting interactive eye-tracking and mouse-tracking experiments. One core advantage of BoXS is its simplicity. Using BoXS does not require prior installation for both experimenters and participants, which allows for running studies outside the laboratory and over the internet. Learning to program for BoXS is easy even for researchers without previous programming experience.
    Behavior Research Methods 11/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0660-6
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    ABSTRACT: Continuous spontaneous alternation behavior (SAB) in a Y-maze is used for evaluating working memory in rodents. Here, the design of an automated Y-maze equipped with three infrared optocouplers per arm, and commanded by a reduced instruction set computer (RISC) microcontroller is described. The software was devised for recording only true entries and exits to the arms. Experimental settings are programmed via a keyboard with three buttons and a display. The sequence of arm entries and the time spent in each arm and the neutral zone (NZ) are saved as a text file in a non-volatile memory for later transfer to a USB flash memory. Data files are analyzed with a program developed under LabVIEW® environment, and the results are exported to an Excel® spreadsheet file. Variables measured are: latency to exit the starting arm, sequence and number of arm entries, number of alternations, alternation percentage, and cumulative times spent in each arm and NZ. The automated Y-maze accurately detected the SAB decrease produced in rats by the muscarinic antagonist trihexyphenidyl, and its reversal by caffeine, having 100 % concordance with the alternation percentages calculated by two trained observers who independently watched videos of the same experiments. Although the values of time spent in the arms and NZ measured by the automated system had small discrepancies with those calculated by the observers, Bland-Altman analysis showed 95 % concordance in three pairs of comparisons, while in one it was 90 %, indicating that this system is a reliable and inexpensive alternative for the study of continuous SAB in rodents.
    Behavior Research Methods 11/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0674-0
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    ABSTRACT: A problem in eyetracking research is choosing areas of interest (AOIs): Researchers in the same field often use widely varying AOIs for similar stimuli, making cross-study comparisons difficult or even impossible. Subjective choices while choosing AOIs cause differences in AOI shape, size, and location. On the other hand, not many guidelines for constructing AOIs, or comparisons between AOI-production methods, are available. In the present study, we addressed this gap by comparing AOI-production methods in face stimuli, using data collected with infants and adults (with autism spectrum disorder [ASD] and matched controls). Specifically, we report that the attention-attracting and attention-maintaining capacities of AOIs differ between AOI-production methods, and that this matters for statistical comparisons in one of three groups investigated (the ASD group). In addition, we investigated the relation between AOI size and an AOI's attention-attracting and attention-maintaining capacities, as well as the consequences for statistical analyses, and report that adopting large AOIs solves the problem of statistical differences between the AOI methods. Finally, we tested AOI-production methods for their robustness to noise, and report that large AOIs-using the Voronoi tessellation method or the limited-radius Voronoi tessellation method with large radii-are most robust to noise. We conclude that large AOIs are a noise-robust solution in face stimuli and, when implemented using the Voronoi method, are the most objective of the researcher-defined AOIs. Adopting Voronoi AOIs in face-scanning research should allow better between-group and cross-study comparisons.
    Behavior Research Methods 11/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0676-y
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    ABSTRACT: People with sequence-space synesthesia (SSS) report stable visuo-spatial forms corresponding to numbers, days, and months (amongst others). This type of synesthesia has intrigued scientists for over 130 years but the lack of an agreed upon tool for assessing it has held back research on this phenomenon. The present study builds on previous tests by measuring the consistency of spatial locations that is known to discriminate controls from synesthetes. We document, for the first time, the sensitivity and specificity of such a test and suggest a diagnostic cut-off point for discriminating between the groups based on the area bounded by different placement attempts with the same item.
    Behavior Research Methods 11/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0656-2
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    ABSTRACT: The utilization of sensory information during activities of daily living is ubiquitous both prior to and during movements (i.e., related to planning and online control, respectively). Because of the overlapping nature of online corrective processes, the quantification of feedback utilization has proven difficult. In the present study, we primarily sought to evaluate the utility of a novel analysis in the frequency domain for identifying visuomotor feedback utilization (i.e., online control). A second goal was to compare the sensitivity of the frequency analysis to that of currently utilized measures of online control. Participants completed reaching movements to targets located 27, 30, and 33 cm from a start position. During these reaches, vision of the environment was either provided or withheld. Performance was assessed across contemporary measures of online control. For the novel frequency analysis presented in this study, the acceleration profiles of reaching movements were detrended with a 5th-order polynomial fit, and the proportional power spectra were computed from the residuals of these fits. The results indicated that the use of visual feedback during reaching movements increased the contribution of the 4.68-Hz frequency to the residuals of the acceleration profiles. Comparisons across all measures of online control showed that the most sensitive measure was the squared Fisher transform of the correlation between the positions at 75 % and 100 % of the movement time. However, because such correlational measures can be contaminated by offline control processes, the frequency-domain analysis proposed herein represents a viable and promising alternative to detect changes in online feedback utilization.
    Behavior Research Methods 11/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0682-0
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    ABSTRACT: A state-of-the-art data analysis procedure is presented to conduct hierarchical Bayesian inference and hypothesis testing on delay discounting data. The delay discounting task is a key experimental paradigm used across a wide range of disciplines from economics, cognitive science, and neuroscience, all of which seek to understand how humans or animals trade off the immediacy verses the magnitude of a reward. Bayesian estimation allows rich inferences to be drawn, along with measures of confidence, based upon limited and noisy behavioural data. Hierarchical modelling allows more precise inferences to be made, thus using sometimes expensive or difficult to obtain data in the most efficient way. The proposed probabilistic generative model describes how participants compare the present subjective value of reward choices on a trial-to-trial basis, estimates participant- and group-level parameters. We infer discount rate as a function of reward size, allowing the magnitude effect to be measured. Demonstrations are provided to show how this analysis approach can aid hypothesis testing. The analysis is demonstrated on data from the popular 27-item monetary choice questionnaire (Kirby, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16(3), 457-462 2009), but will accept data from a range of protocols, including adaptive procedures. The software is made freely available to researchers.
    Behavior Research Methods 11/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0672-2
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    ABSTRACT: We study the effect of memory impairment on triadic comparisons of animal names in a large clinical data set. We define eight groups of subjects in terms of their delayed free recall performance, and present standard analyses of the triadic comparison and free recall data that provide little insight into the effect of memory impairment on semantic structure. We then develop and apply two new methods for analyzing the data, based on cognitive models and using Bayesian statistical inference. The first new method focuses on modeling changes in semantic representation, by inferring multidimensional scaling (MDS) representations for each group based on their triadic comparisons. These representations reveal a successive decrease in semantic cluster structure and increase in uncertainty with increasing impairment. We propose a measure of spatial organization as a means of quantifying the visually evident changes in semantic organization, and demonstrate its usefulness. The second new method focuses on modeling changes in memory access with impairment, inferring the extent to which each individual makes triadic comparisons consistent with a common semantic representation. Although these inferences are based on just 12 comparisons per subject, we show that they vary systematically with memory impairment group. We conclude by discussing the potential for clinical application of our new models, measures, and methods.
    Behavior Research Methods 10/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0662-4
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    ABSTRACT: Word ratings on affective dimensions are an important tool in psycholinguistic research. Traditionally, they are obtained by asking participants to rate words on each dimension, a time-consuming procedure. As such, there has been some interest in computationally generating norms, by extrapolating words' affective ratings using their semantic similarity to words for which these values are already known. So far, most attempts have derived similarity from word co-occurrence in text corpora. In the current paper, we obtain similarity from word association data. We use these similarity ratings to predict the valence, arousal, and dominance of 14,000 Dutch words with the help of two extrapolation methods: Orientation towards Paradigm Words and k-Nearest Neighbors. The resulting estimates show very high correlations with human ratings when using Orientation towards Paradigm Words, and even higher correlations when using k-Nearest Neighbors. We discuss possible theoretical accounts of our results and compare our findings with previous attempts at computationally generating affective norms.
    Behavior Research Methods 10/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0680-2
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    ABSTRACT: BRCA Gist is an Intelligent Tutoring System that helps women understand issues related to genetic testing and breast cancer risk. In two laboratory experiments and a field experiment with community and web-based samples, an avatar asked 120 participants to produce arguments for and against genetic testing for breast cancer risk. Two raters assessed the number of argumentation elements (claim, reason, backing, etc.) found in response to prompts soliciting arguments for and against genetic testing for breast cancer risk (IRR=.85). When asked to argue for genetic testing, 53.3 % failed to meet the minimum operational definition of making an argument, a claim supported by one or more reasons. When asked to argue against genetic testing, 59.3 % failed to do so. Of those who failed to generate arguments most simply listed disconnected reasons. However, participants who provided arguments against testing (40.7 %) performed significantly higher on a posttest of declarative knowledge. In each study we found positive correlations between the quality of arguments against genetic testing (i.e., number of argumentation elements) and genetic risk categorization scores. Although most interactions did not contain two or more argument elements, when more elements of arguments were included in the argument against genetic testing interaction, participants had greater learning outcomes. Apparently, many participants lack skills in making coherent arguments. These results suggest an association between argumentation ability (knowing how to make complex arguments) and subsequent learning. Better education in developing arguments may be necessary for people to learn from generating arguments within Intelligent Tutoring Systems and other settings.
    Behavior Research Methods 10/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0681-1
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    ABSTRACT: Psychophysiological science employs a large variety of signals from the human body that index the activity of the peripheral nervous system. This allows for studying interactions of psychological and physiological processes that are relevant for understanding cognition, emotion, and psychopathology. The multidimensional nature of the data and the interactions between different physiological signals represent a methodological and computational challenge. Analysis software in this domain is often limited in its coverage of the signals from different physiological systems, and therefore only partially addresses these challenges. ANSLAB (short for Autonomic Nervous System Laboratory) is an integrated software suite that supports data visualization, artifact detection, data reduction, automated processing, and statistical analysis for a large range of autonomic, respiratory, and muscular measures. Analysis modules for cardiovascular (e.g., electrocardiogram, heart rate variability, blood pressure wave, pulse wave, and impedance cardiography), electrodermal (skin conductance level and responses), respiratory (respiratory pattern, timing, and volume variables, as well as capnography), and muscular (eye-blink startle, facial and bodily electromyography) systems are complemented by specialized modules (e.g., body temperature and accelerometry, cross-spectral analysis of respiratory and cardiac measures, signal averaging, and statistical analysis) and productivity-enhancing features (batched processing, fully automatized analyses, and data management). ANSLAB also facilitates the analysis of long-term recordings from ambulatory assessment studies. The present article reviews several analysis modules included in ANSLAB and describes how these address some of the current needs and methodological challenges of psychophysiological science.
    Behavior Research Methods 10/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0665-1