Research and Stats Social Psychology Teaching Tools

Episode 102: How to Create an Online Experiment

Want to create an online experiment? Here’s how to do it. I’ll show you can create an experiment using two tools: and Google Forms. Using these two tools, you’ll be able to get creative and put together an online experiment. You’ll even be able to collect the data. I’ll use as an example a very do-able recent study which shows that people tend to overestimate the height of a building when they are on the roof looking down compared to when they are on the ground looking up to the roof.

The explanation for this is that evolutionarily, those who overestimated distances looking down were probably more likely to survive – because they probably backed away from the edge and prevented themselves from falling and killing themselves. Both students and faculty might be interested to see how this study could be set up online.

Click here to participate in the experiment shown in the video.

To learn more about the tool for building online experiment that I showed in this episode, go to the Wix homepage.



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    August 24, 2009

    Try this site:

    I haven’t used it myself but it looks like it’ll do what you’re looking for.

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    Kayleigh Gray

    August 24, 2009

    Hi Michael!

    I’m currently in portugal and about to run a study on facial recognition. I need all of the usual criteria (consent forms etc) as well as a platform that randomly allocates the participant’s to one of four categories, all through the press of one ‘continue’ button. Do you know of an online platform that’s good for this?



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    August 24, 2009

    Unfortunately I haven’t had time to get back into ZebraZaps lately. I hope it’s easier to use than it was. I’ll try to get back to it and see if things have changed.

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    August 24, 2009


    Have you played around with ZebraZapps any more since your post? One thing that is unclear to me about this app is how data is collected and saved. I’ve only been watching their videos, I haven’t tried the demo yet, but still curious if you think this is a good solution (albeit expensive) for doing psychology experiments.


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    […] Related episode: Episode 102: How to Create an Online Experiment on Eyewitness Testimony Accuracy […]

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    August 24, 2009

    Maria: I think what you’re looking to for your dissertation is probably more sophisticated than what Wix and Google Forms are capable of. I do have a suggestion however. I’ve been learning how to use an online program called ZebraZapps ( that is much more powerful than Wix and with many more options.

    The learning curve is higher, but the possibilities are greater with ZebraZapps. There is also a small monthly fee. I would suggest you check it out. I’ve been thinking of doing a video episode on ZebraZapps to show how it could accomplish what I did here with Wix and Google Forms.

    Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

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    August 24, 2009

    Hi Michael,

    I liked your video. I am thinking of making an online experiment for my dissertation in psychology and Wix seems a good choice. However, I would like to ask you, does it count the response time? Because my study is on face recognition and I would like to measure the response time in the face identification lineup.
    Are you familiar with another website that might be more appropriate?
    Can participants in Wix write their details in a consent form?

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    August 24, 2009

    Glad you like the podcast. You’re right – Sproutbuilder, unfortunately, no longer offers their service. However, there is an alternative. It’s call Wix ( I showed how to use it at a conference presentation I recently gave and I recorded a video which is similar to the one above. Here’s the link:

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    August 24, 2009

    Hey, love the program and the podcasts, they’ve been extremely informative and entertaining. Being a Psychnut myself (Studying since age 12) I really get wrapped up in the casts 😛

    Sproutbuilder now no longer offers this service it seems though, is there some other similar application that one could use in it’s place?

  10. More Top Ten Online Psychology Experiments | World of Psychology

    August 24, 2009

    […] DIY Eyewitness Accuracy Experiment. Create your own online psychology experiment on eyewitness accuracy and demonstrate how fallible […]

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    August 24, 2009

    Andreas – glag you’re enjoying the podcast and thx for the note. You’re using it to learn English eh? I can relate to that. I listen to some French podcasts in order to improve my French.

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    August 24, 2009

    Hi Michael,
    Finally I have to make a comment on your site.
    I’m listening to your Podcast for a few months now. (Even I’m no psychologist) And it’s helping me a lot. Not that I learn that much about psychology (OK, I do, but that’s not the main reason why I keep listening), but I learn much about the english language. I come from germany and all your natural common speech helps me very much to improve my english skills.

    Thank you for your all your work and the Podcast.

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    August 24, 2009

    Jordan, glad you liked the episode. There are so many cool tools on the web these days that actually toying with the idea of doing another podcast – this one all video – in which I review these tools.

    Right now my favorite concept mapping programs on the web are Co-Mapping ( and Gliffy (

    I have used co-mapping (which used to be called MeadMap) in a couple previous episodes like this one:

    Thanks again for the comment! Michael

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    August 24, 2009

    I loved this episode I hope to see more on web and computer tools we can use theses days.
    Im just wondering what are some good concept map programs on the web?

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    August 24, 2009

    John: you’re very kind. Thanks so much for making my day (week!). I agree – students and teachers could put together some pretty creative projects using this Sprout tool combined with Google Forms. It could even be – gasp! – fun?! By the way, you’re also doing a great job with your PsychNet site. I highly recommend it to other teachers and students of psychology. Keep up the great work there. – Michael

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    John Billingslea

    August 24, 2009

    You put a lot of wonderful effort (intellectual and time) in to creating this fabulous podcast!! I can’t wait to have my students use this for their projects. Thanks for making the 21st century possible.

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