Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg



Experiments in Social Psychology

Social Psychology aims at describing human behaviour in regard of interaction with the person´s surroundings, at explaining it and of course also at trying to predict it. That is why experiments in Social Psychology often ask the participant to visualize situations or environments; specific variables in these environments are than being manipulated.

Awareness of such manipulations in most cases would alter experiment outcomes, therefore the intention of an experiment is not published before the study is finished. But in all cases experiments follow strict principles:

You will find no manipulations that in any thinkable way could be of harm to the participant. If for any reason a problem arises, the participant may interrupt the experiment at any time.

All data gained during an experiment or study will be used completely anonymised so no participant can ever be identified. Most of the times this is guaranteed by applying simple numerical codes. All data will be used for scientific purpose exclusively.

By the end of an experiment or study all participants have the right to find out about goals, methods and theories of it. The information is given by either distributing hand-outs or by a supervisor explaining the details.

For some research projects, monetary resources for rewarding test persons are available. Thus test persons may receive cash or other (e.g. a bottle of sparkling wine) for their participation. Graduate students, however, are to accomplish a certain amount of so called VPN sessions (test person hours) for free. The Psychological Institute has agreed to apply the “either/or” rule: either participants are being payed or they are being credited VPN units.

The CRISP department is strongly dependent on the students´ cooperation and willingness to participate in the multiple experiments conducted every semester. A lot of them are quite interesting and offer the opportunity to find out more about practical experimental psychology. If you are interested in our current projects you will find more information under “Online-Studien“ or contact us via “Kontakt-Seite”.