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How to Conduct Behavioral Research over the Internet : A Beginner's Guide to HTML and CGI/Perl - R. Chris Fraley

How to Conduct Behavioral Research over the Internet

A Beginner's Guide to HTML and CGI/Perl

Paperback

Published: 1st February 2004
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Requiring no prior knowledge of programming or web site design, this easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide helps professionals as well as students create interactive behavioral research instruments online. With this volume, anyone can learn to write programs in HTML and CGI/Perl that will enable them to take full advantage of all the benefits of Internet-based data collection: the ability to effortlessly manipulate visual and narrative content, randomize the presentation order of stimuli, and provide customized assessments and feedback for research participants. Including extensive examples throughout, the book explains everything from how to obtain access to a web server to mastering HTML coding, processing data with CGI/Perl, and importing data files into popular statistical packages. While the examples are from psychology, the technical skills the book provides can be adapted to other fields that make use of behavioral research.

"Fraley's book is one-stop shopping for any behavioral scientist thinking of creating a website to collect data. The clear writing style, combined with numerous screenshots, tables, and worked-out examples, take the reader step-by-step from research idea to fully functioning website. The steps are so easy to follow that even novices will find it straightforward to apply the ideas to their own research questions. Unlike other books, Fraley's book has a practical focus, with detailed instructions on how to write CGI programs. Most important, it tells readers precisely how to tailor a website to meet their particular research needs. This book will be invaluable to researchers at all levels, whether they are starting from scratch or merely upgrading an existing site. Any behavioral scientist interested in using the Internet to gather data should keep this book within easy reach."--Sam Gosling, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin "Fraley provides a well-organized, easy-to-follow primer for conducting scientific research over the Internet. This step-by-step guide to HTML and CGI/Perl programming makes the daunting and often confusing task of creating Web-based surveys and experiments easy and fun, even for the most timid of beginners. It will make an excellent addition to any research methods course. In short, this book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in conducting social and behavioral research."--Katelyn McKenna, PhD, Department of Psychology, New York University "If only this guide had been available when I began conducting psychological research with CGI scripts in the 1990s! What I learned how to do over months of painful trial and error, this book can help you master within a couple of weeks. Assuming no prior programming experience, Fraley teaches you in clear, simple steps absolutely everything you need to know about conducting Internet-based research. I heartily recommend this book to professionals who wish to begin conducting research on the Internet as well as instructors who wish to teach their students these skills. It is a real gift to the field."--John A. Johnson, PhD, Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University "How to Conduct Behavioral Research over the Internet and its website contain the necessary detail to conduct this type of research. An impressive feature is that the book is comprehensible to those who have never written a webpage and to those who do not consider themselves programmers (almost all of us). Moreover, the book does not just show how to conduct surveys on the Internet, it provides details on how to conduct experiments. We learn how to randomize on the web and how to measure reaction times. Finally, the book has many useful hints to make the data analysis easier."--from the Foreword by David A. Kenny, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut

Introductionp. 1
What You Will Be Able to Accomplishp. 3
What You Will Needp. 4
Some (Very) Basic Things You Need to Know about the Internetp. 4
How to Get the Most Out of This Bookp. 6
Getting Started: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using a Web Serverp. 9
Using a Professional Web Hosting Servicep. 11
Signing Up with Netfirmsp. 12
Transferring Files to Your Netfirms Serverp. 13
Downloading and Installing WS_FTP Prop. 13
Configuring WS_FTP Prop. 14
Using WS_FTP Pro to Transfer Filesp. 15
Creating a Data Directoryp. 18
Some Important Notes on the Organization and Operation of Your Serverp. 19
The Location of Your Web Pagesp. 19
The Address or URL for Your Web Pagep. 19
The CGI Folderp. 20
Transferring Filesp. 20
Timing Outp. 20
Setting Up Your Own Serverp. 21
Downloading and Installing Microsoft's Windows Installerp. 22
Downloading and Installing ActivePerlp. 23
Downloading and Installing the Apache Serverp. 24
Getting Your Server Up and Runningp. 26
Creating a Data Directoryp. 27
Some Important Notes about the Organization and Operation of Your Serverp. 28
Transferring Files to the Serverp. 28
The Location of Your Web Pagesp. 29
The Address or URL for Your Web Pagesp. 29
The CGI Folderp. 30
Turning On and Turning Off the Serverp. 30
Troubleshootingp. 31
HTML: How to Make a Web Page from Scratchp. 33
Downloading and Installing 1st Pagep. 35
What Is Required in All HTML Pagesp. 36
Creating Textp. 37
Page Propertiesp. 38
Formatting Textp. 41
Boldp. 41
Italicsp. 41
Fontp. 41
Text Sizep. 42
Text Colorp. 42
Line Spacingp. 42
Centering Textp. 43
Blank Spacep. 43
Inserting an Imagep. 44
Creating Hyperlinksp. 48
Using Images as Linksp. 49
Using Tables Effectivelyp. 50
Bringing It All Togetherp. 53
Summaryp. 56
HTML Forms: Collecting Research Data from Participants via the Internetp. 60
The Form Tagp. 61
Creating Response Windows and Rating Scalesp. 62
Text Boxesp. 62
Radio Buttonsp. 64
Pull-Down Menusp. 66
Checkboxesp. 68
The Submit Buttonp. 69
Image Mapsp. 69
Hidden Tagsp. 70
Two Examplesp. 71
An Introduction to CGI Scripting: Using Perl to Automatically Save Response Data to a Filep. 82
Saving the Data via a Simple CGI Scriptp. 86
The First Line of All Perl Scriptsp. 87
Instructing the Server to Process the Submitted Datap. 87
Extracting Values from the Submitted Data and Assigning Them Variable Names within the CGI Scriptp. 88
Writing to a Data Filep. 89
Inserting HTML Code into the CGI Scriptp. 91
Testing the Codep. 92
Example 2: Time Stamping a Submissionp. 95
Time Stampp. 96
Environmental Variablesp. 97
Let's See It Workp. 98
Importing the Data into SPSSp. 98
Summaryp. 99
Providing Customized Feedback to Research Participantsp. 104
Providing Feedback: Averaging a User's Responsesp. 105
Providing Feedback: Averaging a User's Responses and Saving the Datap. 110
Data Analysis on the Server: Averaging the Responses of Everyone in Your Samplep. 112
Using If-Else Conditionals to Tailor the Feedback Furtherp. 117
Sample Size and Feedbackp. 121
Summaryp. 123
Randomizing the Order of Stimulip. 126
An Illustrationp. 127
For-Next Loopsp. 129
Breaking Down the Codep. 133
Processing and Saving Randomized Datap. 136
Another Example, with a Slight Twistp. 138
A Final Example, with a Bigger Twistp. 142
Summaryp. 144
Random Assignment to Conditionsp. 146
An Examplep. 146
Another Way to Implement Random Assignmentp. 151
Manipulating Variables within-Subjectsp. 153
Summaryp. 153
Using Multiple Web Pages in Research: Carrying Responses Forward from One Page to the Nextp. 155
An Examplep. 156
Randomizing Trials across Multiple Web Pagesp. 162
Using Image Maps to Advance from One Page to the Nextp. 167
Summaryp. 173
Using Conditional Branching Structures: An Example of "Skip Patterns" in Survey Researchp. 174
Summaryp. 180
Advanced Feedback: Summarizing Data with Bar Graphs and Two-Dimensional Plotsp. 181
Bar Graphsp. 182
Two-Dimensional Coordinate Graphsp. 188
Summaryp. 198
Tracking Participants over Multiple Sessions: PINs, Passwords, and Menusp. 199
An Examplep. 200
Dissecting the Codep. 201
Customizing the Codep. 213
Summaryp. 213
Measuring Response Timesp. 215
An Example: The Recall of Emotional Memoriesp. 217
A More Complex Extension: Saving the Data and Analyzing It for the Participantp. 224
Building on the Example: Randomizing Trial Ordersp. 226
Summaryp. 232
Additional Applications of Perl: Discussion Forums and Scored Testsp. 233
Online Discussion Forump. 234
The CGI Scripts and How They Workp. 240
Summary of the Online Forum Programsp. 257
Online Quizzesp. 258
Wrapping It Upp. 268
Troubleshootingp. 268
Getting Your Site Knownp. 272
Ethicsp. 274
Apache Server Maintenancep. 275
Security: Protecting Your Serverp. 276
Security: Protecting Your Datap. 278
Sampling Issuesp. 281
Dropoutp. 283
Data Quality Controlp. 284
Web Designp. 285
Screen Sizep. 285
Figure-Ground Contrastp. 286
Don't Use JavaScriptp. 286
Test Your Page in Different Browsersp. 287
Minimize the Need to Click and Scrollp. 287
Avoid Jargonp. 287
Avoid Using Plug-Insp. 288
Make Your Site Look Professionalp. 288
Summaryp. 289
Referencesp. 291
Indexp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781572309975
ISBN-10: 1572309970
Series: Methodology in the Social Sciences
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 266
Published: 1st February 2004
Publisher: Guilford Publications
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 18.42  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.53