Big Data in Cognitive Science
- Michael J. Cortese (University of Nebraska Omaha, USA)
Scientific Coordinator: Remo Job
I will discuss the megastudy paradigm as an influential, important, and powerful method used by cognitive psychologists to examine behavioral performance. The megastudy involves the collection of responses to thousands of stimuli by each participant. Item means for reaction time and accuracy measures are analyzed via multiple regression techniques that allow for a relatively large number of predictor variables to be assessed.
The method was first applied to reading aloud and lexical decision tasks in English but has been extended to other tasks and other languages. I will show that the data obtained from megastudies is extremely reliable and can be used to assess empirical and theoretical issues. In addition, I will discuss how the method can be extended for future research. Specifically, I will introduce the experimental megastudy in which independent variables can be manipulated in a megastudy context.
Finally, I will propose a quasi-experimental megastudy to examine word processing in English and Italian. This study would provide a powerful test of the orthographic depth hypothesis. I conclude that the paradigm is important and will continue to provide useful information for cognitive scientists.