Behavior Research Methods

Publisher: Psychonomic Society, Springer Verlag

Journal description

Current impact factor: 2.12

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

Publisher details

Springer Verlag

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  • Classification
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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 moving-window paradigm, based on gazecontingent technic, traditionally used in a studies of the visual perceptual span. There is a strong demand for new environments that could be employed by non-technical researchers. We have developed an easy-to-use tool with a graphical user interface (GUI) allowing both execution and control of visual gaze-contingency studies. This work describes ScreenMasker, an environment that allows create gaze-contingent textured displays used together with stimuli presentation software. ScreenMasker has an architecture that meets the requirements of low-latency real-time eye-movement experiments. It also provides a variety of settings and functions. Effective rendering times and performance are ensured by means of GPU processing under CUDA technology. Performance tests show ScreenMasker's latency to be 67-74 ms on a typical office computer, and high-end 144-Hz screen latencies of about 25-28 ms. ScreenMasker is an open-source system distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License and is available at .
    Behavior Research Methods 08/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0635-7
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    ABSTRACT: Relative meaning frequency is a critical factor to consider in studies of semantic ambiguity. In this work, we examined how this measure may change across the European and Rioplatense dialects of Spanish, as well as how the overall distributional properties differ between Spanish and English, using a computer-assisted norming approach based on dictionary definitions (Armstrong, Tokowicz, & Plaut, 2012). The results showed that the two dialects differ considerably in terms of the relative meaning frequencies of their constituent homonyms, and that the overall distributions of relative frequencies vary considerably across languages, as well. These results highlight the need for localized norms to design powerful studies of semantic ambiguity and suggest that dialectal differences may be responsible for some discrepant effects related to homonymy. In quantifying the reliability of the norms, we also established that as few as seven ratings are needed to converge on a highly stable set of ratings. This approach is therefore a very practical means of acquiring essential data in studies of semantic ambiguity, relative to past approaches, such as those based on the classification of free associates. The norms also present new possibilities for studying semantic ambiguity effects within and between populations who speak one or more languages. The norms and associated software are available for download at or .
    Behavior Research Methods 08/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0639-3
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    ABSTRACT: Pupil size is correlated with a wide variety of important cognitive variables and is increasingly being used by cognitive scientists. Pupil data can be recorded inexpensively and non-invasively by many commonly used video- based eye-tracking cameras. Despite the relative ease of data collection and increasing prevalence of pupil data in the cognitive literature, researchers often underestimate the methodological challenges associated with controlling for confounds that can result in misinterpretation of their data. One serious confound that is often not properly controlled is pupil foreshortening error (PFE)—the foreshortening of the pupil image as the eye rotates away from the camera. Here we systematically map PFE using an artificial eye model and then apply a geometric model correction. Three artificial eyes with different fixed pupil sizes were used to systematically measure changes in pupil size as a function of gaze position with a desktop EyeLink 1000 tracker. A grid-based map of pupil measurements was recorded with each artificial eye across three experimental layouts of the eye-tracking camera and display. Large, systematic deviations in pupil size were observed across all nine maps. The measured PFE was corrected by a geometric model that expressed the foreshortening of the pupil area as a function of the cosine of the angle between the eye-to-camera axis and the eye-to-stimulus axis. The model reduced the root mean squared error of pupil measurements by 82.5 % when the model parameters were pre-set to the physical layout dimensions, and by 97.5 % when they were optimized to fit the empirical error surface.
    Behavior Research Methods 08/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0588-x
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    ABSTRACT: Contention of the ovulatory shift hypothesis is principally supported by failures to replicate previous findings; e.g., recent meta-analytic work suggests that the effects endorsing the hypothesis may not be robust. Some possible limitations in this and other ovulatory-effects research-that may contribute to such controversy arising-are: (a) use of error-prone methods for assessing target periods of fertility that are thought to be associated with behavioral shifts, and (b) use of between-subjects-as opposed to within-subjects-methods. In the current study we present both simulated and empirical research: (a) comparing the ability of between- and within-subject t-tests to detect cyclical shifts; (b) evaluating the efficacy of correlating estimated fertility overlays with potential behavioral shifts; and (c) testing the accuracy of counting methods for identifying windows of cycle fertility. While this study cannot assess whether the ovulatory shift hypothesis or other ovulatory-based hypotheses are tenable, it demonstrates how low power resulting from typical methods employed in the extant literature may be associated with perceived inconsistencies in findings. We conclude that to fully address this issue greater use of within-subjects methodology is needed.
    Behavior Research Methods 07/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0638-4
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    ABSTRACT: Estimates of the prevalence of sensitive attributes obtained through direct questions are prone to being distorted by untruthful responding. Indirect questioning procedures such as the Randomized Response Technique (RRT) aim to control for the influence of social desirability bias. However, even on RRT surveys, some participants may disobey the instructions in an attempt to conceal their true status. In the present study, we experimentally compared the validity of two competing indirect questioning techniques that presumably offer a solution to the problem of nonadherent respondents: the Stochastic Lie Detector and the Crosswise Model. For two sensitive attributes, both techniques met the "more is better" criterion. Their application resulted in higher, and thus presumably more valid, prevalence estimates than a direct question. Only the Crosswise Model, however, adequately estimated the known prevalence of a nonsensitive control attribute.
    Behavior Research Methods 07/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0628-6
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    ABSTRACT: The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC)(2) index from a one-way random effects model is widely used to describe the reliability of mean ratings in behavioral, educational, and psychological research. Despite its apparent utility, the essential property of ICC(2) as a point estimator of the average score intraclass correlation coefficient is seldom mentioned. This article considers several potential measures and compares their performance with ICC(2). Analytical derivations and numerical examinations are presented to assess the bias and mean square error of the alternative estimators. The results suggest that more advantageous indices can be recommended over ICC(2) for their theoretical implication and computational ease.
    Behavior Research Methods 07/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0623-y
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    ABSTRACT: Finger tracking has the potential to expand haptic research and applications, as eye tracking has done in vision research. In research applications, it is desirable to know the bias and variance associated with a finger-tracking method. However, assessing the bias and variance of a deterministic method is not straightforward. Multiple measurements of the same finger position data will not produce different results, implying zero variance. Here, we present a method of assessing deterministic finger-tracking variance and bias through comparison to a non-deterministic measure. A proof-of-concept is presented using a video-based finger-tracking algorithm developed for the specific purpose of tracking participant fingers during a psychological research study. The algorithm uses ridge detection on videos of the participant’s hand, and estimates the location of the right index fingertip. The algorithm was evaluated using data from four participants, who explored tactile maps using only their right index finger and all right-hand fingers. The algorithm identified the index fingertip in 99.78 % of one-finger video frames and 97.55 % of five-finger video frames. Although the algorithm produced slightly biased and more dispersed estimates relative to a human coder, these differences (x=0.08 cm, y=0.04 cm) and standard deviations (σ x =0.16 cm, σ y =0.21 cm) were small compared to the size of a fingertip (1.5–2.0 cm). Some example finger-tracking results are provided where corrections are made using the bias and variance estimates.
    Behavior Research Methods 07/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0610-3
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    ABSTRACT: The new R package flirt is introduced for flexible item response theory (IRT) modeling of psychological, educational, and behavior assessment data. flirt integrates a generalized linear and nonlinear mixed modeling framework with graphical model theory. The graphical model framework allows for efficient maximum likelihood estimation. The key feature of flirt is its modular approach to facilitate convenient and flexible model specifications. Researchers can construct customized IRT models by simply selecting various modeling modules, such as parametric forms, number of dimensions, item and person covariates, person groups, link functions, etc. In this paper, we describe major features of flirt and provide examples to illustrate how flirt works in practice.
    Behavior Research Methods 07/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0606-z
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    ABSTRACT: Using differing computer platforms and audio output devices to deliver audio stimuli often introduces (1) substantial variability across labs and (2) variable time between the intended and actual sound delivery (the sound onset latency). Fast, accurate audio onset latencies are particularly important when audio stimuli need to be delivered precisely as part of studies that depend on accurate timing (e.g., electroencephalographic, event-related potential, or multimodal studies), or in multisite studies in which standardization and strict control over the computer platforms used is not feasible. This research describes the variability introduced by using differing configurations and introduces a novel approach to minimizing audio sound latency and variability. A stimulus presentation and latency assessment approach is presented using E-Prime and Chronos (a new multifunction, USB-based data presentation and collection device). The present approach reliably delivers audio stimuli with low latencies that vary by ≤1 ms, independent of hardware and Windows operating system (OS)/driver combinations. The Chronos audio subsystem adopts a buffering, aborting, querying, and remixing approach to the delivery of audio, to achieve a consistent 1-ms sound onset latency for single-sound delivery, and precise delivery of multiple sounds that achieves standard deviations of 1/10th of a millisecond without the use of advanced scripting. Chronos's sound onset latencies are small, reliable, and consistent across systems. Testing of standard audio delivery devices and configurations highlights the need for careful attention to consistency between labs, experiments, and multiple study sites in their hardware choices, OS selections, and adoption of audio delivery systems designed to sidestep the audio latency variability issue.
    Behavior Research Methods 07/2015; DOI:10.3758/s13428-015-0608-x