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Cognitive Science
2020 Project Proposal

Using Online Games to Study Human Cognition

Josh de Leeuw (Cognitive Science)

The goal of this project is to develop casual online games that contain embedded experiments investigating aspects of human cognitive performance. Using online games to study cognition has several advantages over traditional laboratory experiments, including access to a larger and more diverse pool of potential participants, better external validity of the results, and lower cost. To develop the game, the URSI fellow will read the literature to identify methodological approaches that are appropriate for gamification, develop a plan to gamify the experiment, implement the game using JavaScript, and then conduct a pilot experiment to test the validity of the experiment embedded within the game. The developed game will become part of a suite of games available online at, allowing us to track how performance in different games is correlated.

Students should have some background (such as a completing a course or prior experience) in either behavioral research or programming.

How should students express interest in this project?
In the application, please clearly describe any coursework, experiences, or skills that are relevant for the project. You do not need to contact me prior to submitting the application.

This is a 10 week project running from May 27-July 31