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Experiments as part of your final thesis

If you are considering experiments as part of your thesis, you have the possibility to access COBE Lab's equipment, rooms and participants. It requires that you are a student at Aarhus University, that you have a supervisor at AU who is willing to help you with the application process, and that you are not conducting experiments involving medicaments and the like. Please also note that we do not generally allow students to use our participant pool only for the purpose of getting respondents for an online questionnaire. 

There are several practical considerations when planning an experiment in COBE Lab. Does your project fulfill the ethical requirements? Do you know how to treat personal information in accordance with data protection regulation? What software can you use? Where can you conduct the experiment? How will you finance paying the participants? Conducting an experiments in COBE requires that you have considered these questions in depth. 

If you wish to submit your project in COBE Lab, please follow our procedure. Note that your supervisor is expected to take on active role in the application process. Your supervisor must 1) read and approve your application before it is submitted, 2) submit the application on your behalf, and 3) be part of the conversation about necessary changes and solutions to issues.

Ethics and experiments

Ethical considerations are crucial as the ethical standards help protect the participants in the study and secure the quality of your data by diminishing the production of false or misrepresented results. Important ethical principles are, e.g. informed consent and voluntary participation. These principles ensure subjects participate of their own free will and are fully informed about the project and the potential risks. 

Read more about COBE Lab's ethical principles

Data protection regulation

When you collect or are given access to data to be used in your thesis, you are responsible for processing the data in accordance with the appropriate legislature. This places an obligation on you to familiarise yourself with data protection regulation. You will find helpful links below. 

AU has resources to help researchers with data protection, but unfortunately not all of these are accessible to students. Therefore, as a precaution, it is COBE Lab’s policy that students who want to use COBE for an assignment or their final thesis are not permitted to collect personal information as part of their research data.  This policy applies only if a student is themselves the data controller, and not if the work is part of a bigger research project where e.g. the supervisor is the data controller. Students are however allowed to collect payment information and signed consent forms, which are necessary to conduct experiments in COBE. 

AU's guide for processing personal data in student projects.

COBE Lab's guide to data processing for researchers.

Note that as a student, you don't have access to AU's e-learning course on data protection, or to getting help from AU's Technology and Transfer Office (TTO). If you get stuck, ask your supervisor for help.  

Software for experiments

There are several software options for you to create your survey or program your experiment. These are often used in COBE Lab:

Surveys Qualtrics, formr, SurveyXact 

Software in experimental social science oTreez-Tree, nodeGame

Visual presentation software PsychoPyExperiment Builder (EyeLink eye tracker), Tobii Studio (Tobii eye tracker)

Physiological software BIOPAC Acqknowledge 4

Behavioural software Noldus FaceReader, Noldus Obserer XT

EEG recording and analysis OpenViBE

Equipment and rooms

When you develop your experiment, you need to consider what equipment is the most suitable. Can the participant solve the task at home risking to be disturbed or is it more desirable to have full control and invite them to a planned session? Do you need to measure heart rate, have access to an eye tracker or the like? 

See a list of COBE Lab's equipment and rooms

Financing the payment of participants

You can only get access to COBE Lab's participant pool, if you pay the participants around 110 DKK per hour for their time spent. You can talk to your supervisor about potential funding of participant payments. 

As an alternative you can recruit participants on your own, and get access to the equipment and rooms at COBE Lab without using our participant pool.