Shannon Ross-Sheehy, University of Tennessee
Although our visual cognition research is focused primarily on infant and adult eye tracking, our online presence for the last few years has included behavioral attention and working memory tasks for preschoolers. Our initial foray into the “at home” testing space was driven by a need to continue longitudinal work we had begun in-lab when the infants were 5‑months-of-age.
Our first approach was to painstakingly program our full psychometric tasks into a downloadable game that parents would engage in with their 4‑year-olds. Although largely successful, parents were at times reluctant to download our apps. In addition, ever-changing security warnings meant parents were often unable to run the apps without circumventing security settings.
Thus, although these “at home” tasks were on par with lab-based tasks in terms of visual precision, these benefits were unrealized if parents were too nervous to download the apps, didn’t have a suitable computer, or lacked the skills needed to circumvent security nag screens. Once it became clear that online data collection might be a reality for the foreseeable future, we decided to reprogram our tasks into Gorilla. I will discuss briefly the issues I faced during the transition (e.g., screen calibration, controlling flow from Qualtrics to Gorilla, consent, etc.), as well as what is gained by using browser-based techniques.