Entry Date:
September 25, 2014

On-Line Experiential Program of Experiments in Human Psychology

Principal Investigator John Gabrieli

MIT's "Introduction to Psychological Science" course presents to about 250-300 MIT undergraduates with current scientific knowledge about human nature, including the relation of brain and behavior, perception, learning and thinking, development, social behavior and personality, and psychopathology and psychotherapy. A central theme of the course is how well-controlled laboratory experiments can reveal scientific evidence about the human mind. Many of these experiments are computer-based, and could be experienced directly by these students via an on-line program that would allow students to try these experiments, see their own performance, and relate that personal, hands-on experience to the themes discussed in the lectures and in the textbook.

The project involves the design and programming of an on-line web-based series of mock experiments in which students perform the experiments as if they were participants in a research study, and then see how their own performance relates to (1) the original findings of the experiment and (2) the average of their classmates. Experiments would be selected as modules related to major components of the course.