This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
This article provides an overview of the literature on the use of internet-based testing to address questions in perception research. Internet-based testing has several advantages over in-lab research, including the ability to reach a relatively broad set of participants and to quickly and inexpensively collect large amounts of empirical data. In many cases, the quality of online data appears to match that collected in laboratory research. Generally speaking, online participants tend to be more representative of the population at large than laboratory based participants. There are, though, some important caveats, when it comes to collecting data online. It is obviously much more difficult to control the exact parameters of stimulus presentation (such as display characteristics) in online research. There are also some thorny ethical considerations that need to be considered by experimenters. Strengths and weaknesses of the online approach, relative to others, are highlighted, and recommendations made for those researchers who might be thinking about conducting their own studies using this increasingly-popular approach to research in the psychological sciences.
This manuscript will be submitted to PeerJ for peer review. Feedback appreciated.