Gamification: the new way of behavioral research

Many behavioral researchers are converting their experiments into some form of game to reach thousands or even millions of participants. “Gamification” is becoming a powerful tool for research in neuroscience, behavioral science, psychology and economics. This has made research more extensive, fun, and more approachable. In one such instance, cognitive scientist J. Hartshorne, who was studying how people around the globe learnt English, designed a grammar game called “Which English?” that tested the English knowledge of the players and predicted where they learnt the language. Almost 700,000 participated in the game. Popular games such as Wordle, Minecraft and Scrabble are already played by millions of online players and provide inspiration for “gamified” psycolinguistic and visual experiments. Researchers need to reinvent their methodology and adapt to gamification technologies.

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