News & Events


Crowdsourcing for Behavioral Spatial Science


Dr. Alexander Klippel, Pennsylvania State University

Crowdsourcing is becoming a popular research tool for scientists in a number of disciplines. The advantages it offers are manifold and especially researchers outside the infrastructure that psychology departments offer increasingly rely on the power of the crowd. This talk will discuss crowdsourcing approaches that we coin active and passive. Passive crowdsourcing utilizes information that the crowd at some point has made publicly available such as websites, blogs, twitter, or facebook. The advantages of passive crowdsourcing are the incredible amount of information that is available; the challenges are that this information requires sophisticated analysis tools to automate collecting and processing of information in mostly text-like formats. We briefly discuss two examples: a case study on the usage of direction terms across the United States and the interpretation of proximity terms using a model based on crowdsourced data. Active crowdsourcing requires a platform, such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, that allows for eliciting responses to questions (surveys) and stimuli. These crowdsourcing tools are becoming more popular in scientific community. Many available tools offer interfaces that can be customized to administer a variety of experiments. We will discuss an extension to this approach by showing software we developed that extends the capabilities of AMT by administering experiments as a standalone program but using AMT as a platform. There are a number of lessons to be learned from working with AMT as the mindset of ‘turkers’ is different from the mindset of the usual college students (who still make up 95% of all participants).

Date: 07.06.2013

Time: 15:30 h

Location: Cartesium, Bremen

Alexander_Klippel.pdf118 K