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ISSN: 1554-3528

(electronic version)

Behavior Research Methods

Published six times a year
(Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec)

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Beyond the Lab: Using Big Data to Discover Principles of Cognition

With more than 100 years of collective practice, experimental psychologists have become highly sophisticated in their application of well-controlled laboratory experiments to reveal principles of human cognition and behavior. This approach has yielded rigorous experimental designs with extensive controls. But the very expertise with which psychologists wield their tools for achieving laboratory control may now be limiting our field to the possibilities that now exist for using beyond the lab approaches to inform psychological theories.

For this special issue we seek contributions that fall into the broad topic of going beyond the lab to answer questions difficult or impossible to answer with conventional lab studies. Examples of ideal contributions include, but are not limited to:

  • Harvesting data from online databases
  • Network analysis
  • Linguistic corpora
  • Educational data analytics
  • Crowdsourcing experimentation, coding, and analysis
  • Gamification of data collection and analysis
  • Statistical methods for dealing with naturally occurring data sets
  • Deriving causal relations from data
  • Integrating experiments and naturally occurring data sets
  • Psychological investigations of patterns in specific databases for understanding: language, search, reasoning, problem solving, decision making, vision, performance, and group behavior
  • Creating online environments for collecting behavioral data
  • Environmental statistics and cognition

November 30, 2017: Preliminary proposals due. Submit your proposal here. Requested information includes a tentative title, a 250-400 word description of your proposed paper, and information on your intended audience.

December 20, 2017: Decisions on preliminary proposals emailed to authors.

April 20, 2018: Invited full papers due. The papers will go through the conventional peer review process at Behavior Research Methods.

Please email any questions to the guest editors:

Gary Lupyan, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Rob Goldstone, Indiana University Bloomington


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Editor in Chief

Michael N. Jones

Michael N. Jones
Indiana University Bloomington, USA

Associate Editors
Dale Barr
University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

Amy H. Criss
Syracuse University, USA

Rick Dale
University of California, Merced, USA

Christopher Donkin
University of New South Wales, Australia

Mark W. Greenlee
University of Regensburg, Germany

Pernille Hemmer
Rutgers University, USA

Stephanie Huette
University of Memphis, USA

Stian Reimers
City University of London, United Kingdom

Wei Wu
University of Kansas, USA

Melvin Yap
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Yanyun Yang
Florida State University, USA

Consulting Editors


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Phone: +1 847-375-3696 • Fax: +1 847-375-6449 • Email:

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