Advantages and disadvantages of Web and lab research are reviewed. Via the World Wide Web, one can efficiently recruit large, heterogeneous samples quickly, recruit specialized samples (people with rare characteristics), and standardize procedures, making studies easy to replicate. Alternative programming techniques (procedures for data collection) are compared, including client-side as opposed to server-side programming. Web studies have methodological problems; for example, higher rates of drop out and of repeated participation. Web studies must be thoroughly analyzed and tested before launching on-line. Many studies compared data obtained in Web versus lab. These two methods usually reach the same conclusions; however, there are significant differences between college students tested in the lab and people recruited and tested via the Internet. Reasons that Web researchers are enthusiastic about the potential of the new methods are discussed.
Annual Review of Psychology – Annual Reviews
Published: Feb 4, 2004
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