Advanced Training Institute in Social Psychology Experiments via the WWW


National Science Foundation has provided funding to support three Advanced Training Institutes (ATI) on the new methods and techniques by which one can conduct research on Social Psychology via the WWW. The Internet allows for rapid collection of large samples of data with minimal costs associated with printing, mailing, testing, lab space, lab assistants, and data coding/entry. The Internet can also be used as a device for recruiting participants from different cultures or participants who have special characteristics that might be rare in the world’s population.

These new methods of research date only to 1995, so most of the computer techniques and methodological tactics of this area of research are quite new. The computer skills required are not as difficult as one might imagine, but there are several related skills that must be mastered. A tentative list of topics to be covered is included, but Internet hardware and software are undergoing rapid development, so the final curriculum will be established by the board of advisors to make each year’s training workshop as up-to-date as possible. Based on experience teaching this material to undergraduates, we believe that it is realistic to expect a short workshop can have a big impact on research.

The training program will be devised by a six member board of advisors and five to six trainers to hold sessions with 15 participants on three different occasions, approximately one year apart. Prospective applicants can go to complete the application forms online. Should more applicants apply than space available, priority will be given to those who plan to teach Internet research methods to their students and colleagues, to those whose proposed research projects are well-suited to the WWW, and to those who have a productive record of scholarly publications. The board of advisors will rank candidates with respect to these three criteria and the sum of ranks will be used to select trainees.

The ATIs will be held during three successive years at CSUF, and 5 trainers and 15 trainees will have their travel costs and housing at the CSUF Marriott during the Institute paid. Trainers will also receive food per diem supported for each yearly ATI. Each participant will also receive books and other instructional media and materials. CSUF is providing institutional support, including a graduate assistant who will help facilitate arrangements and needs of the participants before and during the workshops.

The project will be evaluated by questionnaires to be administered at the end of the training, one year later, and three years later. Outcomes considered evidence of success are scientific publications resulting from application of the techniques to solving old or new problems in Social Psychology, inclusion of Web methods in the participants’ teaching of students and colleagues, and judgments by participants of the value of each component of the training.

Information for Applicants

The first two sessions (January 17-20, 2002 and August 1-4, 2002) were quite successful and well-received.

The next session will be held July 10-13, 2003; Screening of applications will begin on March 25, 2003, and continue until all 15 funded openings have been filled. We plan to apply for funding for another session for 2004; dates will be posted here as soon as funding and plans are finalized.

Application requires two parts:


Board of Advisors




ATI Link to January 2002 Session to Examples, PowerPoint, and More

Link to Materials from August, 2002 Session

Send Email to the Graduate Assistant to the ATISP

nsf logoMaterial in this Web site is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. SBR-9410572, SES-9986436, and especially, BCS-0129453. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author, Michael Birnbaum, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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