Participate in linguistic experiments

Linguistics faculty and students frequently run experiments designed to study how speakers of English and other languages process speech and text. For each such experiment, dozens of participants are needed. If you are interested in participating in such experiments, you can subscribe to an email list below that informs recipients about ongoing studies and, for those interested in taking part in these studies, provides instructions on how to schedule their participation or how to contact the researcher conducting the study.

What do linguistic experiments involve? The studies we perform test many different aspects of language and speech. Here are some common examples to give you an idea:

  • Participants might listen to pairs of made up syllables and are asked to tell whether these sound the same or different.
  •  Participants might be shown a list of words and are asked to decide as quickly as possible which of these is a true English word and which is not.
  • Participants might be asked to rate how well different sentences describe a given situation represented by a picture or video.
  • Participants’ processing of verbal instructions might be studied by monitoring their attention (eye movements) as they carry out the instructions.
  •  Participants might be asked to instruct one another to carry out certain collaborative tasks to see what kind of expression they would use to this end.

These are just examples; many different kinds of designs are used in experiments carried out by linguists.

Will I be paid for participating? Participants usually receive a small amount of money for their participation - for example, an individual study might offer $10 if participation in that study can take up to around an hour, or closer to $5 if it takes less than half an hour to complete the study. (Sometimes, studies also offer course credit instead of a money reward; of course, such studies only recruit within particular courses at UB. In contrast, the studies that offer money rewards are open to the general public, not just to members of the UB community.)

How can I find out about upcoming studies? If you are interested in receiving information about ongoing studies, you can sign up to receive email notifications about these studies. Each email notification will include:

  • A brief description of what participants will be required to do, and the time commitment involved;
  • Instructions on how to sign up for the study;
  • Contact details for the researcher conducting the study;
  • Details of any compensation participants will receive.

If you are interested in receiving information about ongoing studies, please subscribe to our study signup email list by clicking on the button below.

Subscribing to receive emails about planned studies does not in any way commit you to participating. When a member of the department would like to conduct a study and is looking for participants, they will send a message to the list that contains information about the study and instructions for how to enroll or how to request further information. Unsubscribing is as simple as sending an unsubscribe message to the list.