Doing mul­ti-per­son inter­ac­tive social cog­ni­tion stud­ies in psy­chi­a­try: suc­cess­es, chal­lenges and frustrations

Vaugh­an Bell, Divi­sion of Psy­chi­a­try, UCL
Nichola Rai­hani, Exper­i­men­tal Psy­chol­o­gy, UCL


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Most social cog­ni­tion research nev­er tests peo­ple in actu­al social sit­u­a­tions. We con­duct research where peo­ple inter­act with each oth­er in con­trolled exper­i­ments, mean­ing online plat­forms that coor­di­nate inter­ac­tion are essen­tial for our stud­ies. This allows us to do large-scale, replic­a­ble, open sci­ence com­pat­i­ble stud­ies. How­ev­er, we have encoun­tered sev­er­al chal­lenges: devel­op­ment and host­ing costs for cus­tom soft­ware, short­com­ings of estab­lished plat­forms in terms of inter­ac­tion and open sci­ence com­pat­i­bil­i­ty, and a strong prej­u­dice in psy­chi­a­try jour­nals against online stud­ies. We’ll dis­cuss some poten­tial solu­tions and some remain­ing frustrations.

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