Royal Holloway, University of London and a team of international researchers have developed a new way to conduct psychological and social research by using an iPhone app.
Instead of bringing people into laboratories the team has launched an iPhone/iPad app that people can download for free in English, French and Dutch.
The app, called the "Science XL: Test your word power", adapts a classic behavioural psychology experiment for iPhone or iPad use. The user can test his or her word power by deciding whether each word presented is a real word or a non-word. The application measures accuracy and the time taken to make decisions.
The results will help researchers to advance their understanding of how the brain recognises words and could ultimately help in understanding disorders such as dyslexia.
The team are aiming to get data from 50,000 individuals for each of the three languages they are studying.
Professor Rastle, from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, said using the iPhone or iPad to conduct scientific research was a “revolutionary new concept”.
“It could change the way that human social and psychological research is conducted because it allows us to access vast numbers of individuals from a range of demographics relatively inexpensively.”
The app is free to download from iTunes AppStore (search for "Science XL") and is non-profit making.
For information on how to get involved visit: http://www.sciencexl.org/