Open Office Hour: Non-Chronometric psycholinguistic experiments in Mechanical Turk (Part 2)

We are continuing the Open Office Hours dedicated to programming non-chronometric psycholinguistic experiments in Amazon Mechanical Turk. All materials from the first Office Hour and the follow-up can be found at The follow-up Open Hour with Victor Kuperman  will cover additional types of experiments (Cloze predictability, plausibility judgments, Rating and Likert scales). It will take place on Friday March 27 at 1-2 pm (Eastern time for US and Canada, GMT -4).

Meanwhile feel free to send your questions to Victor Kuperman ( Also note that all Open Office hours are recorded and the videos will be made available at a later time.

We hope you can join us this Friday!

Host: Victor Kuperman

Date: Friday, March 27, 2020

Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST (GMT -4)

Connect via Zoom:

Virtual Workshop on Remote Data Collection – CUNY2020

In light of recent events, the organizers of CUNY2020 have put together a full-day workshop on remote/online data collection. The event is will be hosted using Zoom and everyone is welcome to attend.

The event includes topics such as accessing publicly available data (e.g., neuroimaging datasets) and requesting data sharing.

When: Monday, March 23, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm EDT

View the schedule here: pdf

COVID-19 & Open Office Hours (online)

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, many across the Words in the World network have suspended face-to-face operations including experimentation in traditional laboratory environments. We are therefore making a concerted effort to migrate as many of our research projects to an online format as possible. By moving toward this goal, we are working not only to protect the health and safety of our colleagues and research participants, but also to move forward with the majority of our research endeavours.

With these purposes in mind, we’d like to take this opportunity to introduce a new Words in the World feature: Open Office Hours. The purpose of the Open Office Hour is to provide an accessible online version of the traditional university office hour, in which our research partners hold a brief informal discussion on a topic within their expertise and take questions regarding that topic. Our first Open Office Hours are listed below and focus on online experimentation in Psycholinguistic research.


A follow-up office hour with Dr. Kuperman is scheduled for Friday, March 27, from 1 – 2pm Eastern (GMT -4). See the announcement here:

“How to collect psycholinguistic data from home: Introduction to crowdsourcing tools”

Host: Victor Kuperman

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST (GMT -4)

Ability to collect experimental data outside of the lab is of great importance for reaching out to populations outside of university convenience subject pools. This importance is even greater when lab testing is undesirable. This first session of “open office hours” will introduce rich possibilities for data collection using crowdsourcing tools like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk ( We will cover several basic types of experiments (surveys, collection of ratings, linguistic judgments, and written responses), and discuss practicalities of online testing. Several small experiments will be created and results collected and discussed.

No prior knowledge is expected. The session is designed for 20-30 minutes of an informal presentation, followed by the Q&A. Ideas for experiments are very welcome.

Connect via Zoom:

See the event listing for alternative ways to connect.

“Running chronometric experiments online using PsychoPy3″

Host: Jordan Gallant

Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 (GMT -4)

Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST

Connect via Zoom:

Online experiments offer a range of possibilities and benefits that have yet to be fully explored. This office hour will introduce PsychoPy3, a new experiment development software that uses Javascript to create experiments that can be run on web-browsers. In the first half of the office hour, I will demonstrate how a simple lexical decision experiment can be 1) created, 2) hosted online, and 3) run using participants recruited via Mechanical Turk. The second half will be a Q&A where the limitations/possibilities of PsychoPy3 and online chronometric experimentation in general can be discussed.

COVID-19 Update

To all our friends and colleagues:

We hope you are safe in these difficult times.

Following the advice of public health authorities, Words in the World has moved the majority of our operations online. 

The Brock/SHARCNet EEG Analysis Workshop, scheduled for May 11 – 15, 2020, has been cancelled, with the hopes of rescheduling for later in the year. Attendees should receive information directly. 

The organizing committees of STEP2020 (May 25 – May 30, 2020) and the 12th International Conference on the Mental Lexicon (October 6 – 9, 2020) are considering their options in the face of this rapidly evolving situation.

The organizers of STEP2020 have changed the event registration procedures to reflect current global uncertainty and are prepared to cancel the event on short notice. Should STEP be cancelled, there are plans to reschedule at a later date. More information is available here:

In the coming weeks, we will be offering a series of Open Office Hours focusing on how to do research while maintaing social distance through the use of online resources. The first session will be about how to use Mechanical Turk, and will offered by Dr. Victor Kuperman (McMaster University) next Tuesday, March 24, from 1pm to 2pm. 

We wish you all well. 

STEP2020 is coming!

The dates are set for the 2020 CCP Spring Training in Experimental Psycholinguistics!

The Centre for Comparative Psycholinguistics (CCP, University of Alberta Department of Linguistics) organizes a week long Spring Training Workshop in current issues and methods in psycholinguistics. This 7th STEP will take place in Edmonton, Alberta, May 25-30, 2020. The Spring School is directed at postdoctoral fellows, graduate and advanced undergraduate students, and anyone else interested in learning how to turn their research ideas into concrete steps towards experimental designs, data collection and analysis using advanced experimental and statistical methods.

Location: University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Dates: May 25-30, 2020

Schedule and registration details TBA.

View the STEP2020 website for more information here:

Postponed: Brock University & SHARCNet: EEG Analysis Workshop 2020

Words in the World is pleased to once again be co-sponsoring Brock & SHARCNet’s Annual EEG Analysis Workshop! This year, the workshop will run Monday, May 11 to Friday, May 15, 2020, at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

This EEG analysis workshop is designed to give researchers who are familiar with ERP projects an opportunity to get hands on experience exploring advanced EEG analysis methods in a collaborative setting. Lectures and hands-on sessions will be presented by Sid Segalowitz, James Desjardins, and Stefon van Noordt.

For the basic syllabus and to register for the workshop, visit our EventBrite page here:

Registration is $150 for students/postdocs and $250 for faculty/professionals.

The Brock University & SHARCNet: EEG Analysis Workshop is co-sponsored by the Jack and Nora Walker Centre for Lifespan Development Research, SHARCNet, and the Words in the World SSHRC Partnership project.

Upcoming Talk: There is a big gap in our understanding of reading fluency and the study of serial naming can help address it

On Monday July 22, 2019, Dr. Athanassios Protopapas (University of Oslo) will be giving a talk on word reading fluency at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. This invited talk is hosted by The Reading Lab and the Centre for Advanced Research in Experimental and Applied Linguistics at McMaster. See the abstract below for more information.

All are welcome to attend!


Date: July 22, 2019

Time: 12 – 2pm

Location: LRW 4018 (through ARiEAL entrance at LRW 4020), McMaster University


Word list reading fluency is theoretically expected to depend mainly on single word reading speed. Yet the correlation between the two diminishes with increasing fluency, while fluency remains strongly correlated to serial digit naming. This suggests that multi-element sequence processing is an important component of fluency. When multiple stimuli to be named are presented simultaneously, the total naming time is shorter than when they are presented individually (termed “serial advantage”). Presumably, this occurs because one or more stimuli can be processed simultaneously, for example by one stimulus being mapped to its phonological representation while the previous one is articulated and the next one is visually perceived. This temporal overlap, termed “cascaded” processing, amounts to the parallel processing of multiple sequential stimuli along a serial pipeline.

I will present data from serial and discrete naming and reading tasks in different orthographies supporting the hypotheses that (a) these tasks pattern along distinct dimensions of performance concerning sequential vs. single-entity processing; (b) stimuli are amenable to cascaded processing to the extent they are individually processed as unmediated single chunks; and (c) the serial advantage is limited by the slowest processing component. The first hypothesis suggests that a distinct skill domain, beyond single word processing, underlies efficient processing of word sequences (i.e., fluency). The second hypothesis distinguishes between alphanumeric and nonalphanumeric naming and sets the context for the study of word reading fluency development. The third hypothesis suggests that as long as articulation is faster than the preceding cognitive steps then the serial advantage is largely determined by the duration of the spoken words, but articulation goes on to become the rate-limiting factor as word recognition speeds up during reading development.

Serial word reading aligns increasingly with the serial naming factor at higher grades, suggesting that word reading fluency is gradually dominated by skill in simultaneously processing multiple successive items (“cascading”), beyond automatization of individual words. This explains why discrete word reading is decreasingly correlated with word reading fluency as reading skill increases and why serial digit naming (i.e., RAN) is such a strong concurrent and longitudinal predictor of word reading fluency.

ICYMI: EEG Analysis Workshop & STEP@CCP 2019 Registration Competitions

May 2019 is a busy month for Words in the World co-sponsored events!

The Brock & SHARCNet EEG Analysis Workshop (May 6 – 10), held in St. Catharines, ON, and Spring Training in Experimental Psycholinguistics at the Centre for Comparative Psycholinguistics (May 13 – 18), held in Edmonton, AB, are both coming up fast.

We are pleased to once again be offering registration competitions for both events to eligible trainees. If you are a trainee of a Words in the World partner or collaborator, you are eligible to participate. Up to five (5) trainees will have their registration costs covered for each competition.

Please note, there are two separate competitions, one for each event. Eligible trainees can apply to both competitions.

The deadline to apply for both competitions is April 30, 2019. For competition rules and submission details, follow the links below:

2019 ERP Workshop Registration Competition

2019 STEP Registration Competition


Upcoming Workshop: STEP@CCP 2019: May 13-18, 2019

The programme for the Centre for Comparative Psycholinguistics’ Spring Training in Experimental Psycholinguistics 2019 has been announced!

This year’s STEP@CCP will be held from May 13 – 18 in Edmonton, Alberta, at the University of Alberta.

The Spring School is directed at postdoctoral fellows, graduate and advanced undergraduate students, and anyone else interested in learning how to turn their research ideas into concrete steps towards experimental designs, data collection and analysis using advanced experimental and statistical methods.

The registration deadline is April 29, 2019. Course fees are set at $390, and include workshop attendance and materials, tea/coffee, light snacks, and 6 days of lunches.

Students and postdoctoral researchers working with Words in the World partners and collaborators are eligible to apply for the STEP@CCP 2019 Registration Competition, which covers the cost of student registration at the event. For more information about the registration competition and its requirements, read more here: 2019 STEP Registration Competition

For more information, and to register, visit the STEP@CCP site at

Upcoming workshop: Brock University & SHARCNet: EEG Analysis Workshop

Brock University & SHARCNet’s annual EEG Analysis Workshop will be held at Brock University from May 6 – May 10, 2019. Words in the World is a proud co-sponsor of this event.

Join Sid Segalowitz, James Desjardins, and Stefon van Noordt for a week of lectures and hands-on experience with both traditional and cutting-edge EEG analysis. Time will also be available to discuss individual research projects.

The cost of registration is $150 for students and postdoctoral researchers, and $250 for faculty and professionals. The deadline to register is May 2, 2019, so don’t delay!

Students and postdoctoral researchers who are working with Words in the World partners and collaborators are eligible to participate in the EEG Analysis Registration Competition, which covers registration costs. For more information, view the competition information here: 2019 ERP Workshop Registration Competition.

For more information and to register for the event, visit the event page at