Fun psychology Experiments at Warwick
I was always keen on trying new things while at university and so when I heard about the ‘SONA psychology experiments’ conducted by Warwick Researchers, in which any student could take part in, I was thrilled. These were conducted either on campus or on an online platform and were relatively short so wouldn’t take much time too. I immediately signed up (https://warwick.sona-systems.com/Default.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f) and registered for my first experiment.
It was a decision making experiment where we had to choose between two types of lotteries—a risky one and a comparatively less riskier one. It was meant to assess the risk aversion of a person while making a decision. After making a set of 170 decisions, all participants would have to pick out a question number from an opaque bag. The lottery we chose for that question would then be replicated in real life using red and black balls, signifying a particular amount, and pure luck would decide the compensation we would be given, hypothetically.
I still remember I picked out one of the worst questions from the opaque bag out of the 170 questions I had to answer. For that particular question, I had chosen the lottery that was highly risky, where I had a 20% probability of winning 20 pounds (4 red balls denoted 20 pounds and the rest 16 black balls denoted nothing) versus the more risk averse lottery (5 red balls denoted 12 pounds and the remaining 15 black balls denoted nothing) where I had a 25% chance of winning 12 pounds.
I was positive I would get nothing out of this but contrary to my belief, I ended up picking out the red ball, which signified the 20 pounds!! That was my first experiment and my first hypothetical earning—only if it was real money!! Apart from the money element involved, t was really interesting and taught me something about decision making too. It taught me how people are willing to take risk, in order to gain a higher outcome.
In another experiment called, “A Deception Detection Reaction Time Experiment”, we had to react as fast as possible to a set of pictures. We, the participants were assigned the roles of spies, who were infiltrating New York University, and so had to pretend to be NYU students rather than Warwick. We were given a set of images of Warwick, from which we had to choose the ones we were most familiar with. After choosing those, we had to memorize a group of New York University pictures. Then, we had to undergo a test, where we were shown pictures of New York University, Warwick University and other random pictures and in a matter of seconds, had to indicate which pictures we recognise and which ones we don’t.
It was quite interesting and annoying at the same time since it took a while to get a hang of the pictures we had to recognize and which we didn’t have to, especially since it was in a matter of a few seconds.
From then on, I was addicted to these experiments, and wouldn’t even miss one of them! Whenever I had an hour between lectures, or just had time to spare I would go for these experiments.
I would highly encourage you to take part in these experiments as you not only enhance your learning but also get a another exciting thing to do in your free time.
Have a lovely day and hope you enjoyed reading xx