Biophysical Measurement in Experimental Social Science Research

Biophysical Measurement in Experimental Social Science Research

Theory and Practice

1st Edition - February 8, 2019

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  • Editor: Gigi Foster
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128130933
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128130926

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Biophysical Measurement in Experimental Social Science Research is an ideal primer for the experimental social scientist wishing to update their knowledge and skillset in the area of laboratory-based biophysical measurement. Many behavioral laboratories across the globe have acquired increasingly sophisticated biophysical measurement equipment, sometimes for particular research projects or for financial or institutional reasons. Yet the expertise required to use this technology and integrate the measures it can generate on human subjects into successful social science research endeavors is often scarce and concentrated amongst a small minority of researchers. This book aims to open the door to wider and more productive use of biophysical measurement in laboratory-based experimental social science research. Suitable for doctoral students through to established researchers, the volume presents examples of the successful integration of biophysical measures into analyses of human behavior, discussions of the academic and practical limitations of laboratory-based biophysical measurement, and hands-on guidance about how different biophysical measurement devices are used. A foreword and concluding chapters comprehensively synthesize and compare biophysical measurement options, address academic, ethical and practical matters, and address the broader historical and scientific context. Research chapters demonstrate the academic potential of biophysical measurement ranging fully across galvanic skin response, heart rate monitoring, eye tracking and direct neurological measurements. An extended Appendix showcases specific examples of device adoption in experimental social science lab settings.

Key Features

  • Demonstrates the strengths and limitations of different tools, in terms of both research objectives and practicality
  • Provides hands-on guidance for device usage and data integration and assessment
  • Compares and contrasts the use of different biophysical data options for different research objectives and in different disciplines


Graduate and PhD students doing experimental research as part of their thesis or as part of a paper, particularly within experimental and behavioral economics, neuro-economics, cognitive psychology, and social psychology, and also possibly some experimental management and/or marketing. Established academics wishing to be brought up to speed on the latest measurement technology available in human behavior laboratories

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
    Paul Frijters
    1. Eye Tracking as a Tool for Examining Cognitive Processes
    Tom Beesley, Daniel Pearson and Mike Le Pelley
    2. Brain Morphometry for Economists: How do Brain Volume Constraints Affect Our Choices?
    Agnieszka Tymula
    3. fMRI in Economics: What Functional Imaging of the Brain Can Add to Behavioral Economics Experiments
    Niree Kodaverdian
    4. Skin Conductance in the Study of Politics and Communication
    Stuart N. Soroka
    5. Steroid Hormones in Social Science Research
    Ben Hardy
    6. An Interoceptive Walk Down Wall Street
    Anthony Newell and Lionel Page
    7. Mind, Body, Bubble! Psychological and Biophysical Dimensions of Behavior in Experimental Asset Markets
    David John Butler and Stephen L. Cheung
    8. Opportunities and Challenges of Portable Biological, Social, and Behavioral Sensing Systems for the Social Sciences
    Benno Torgler
    9. Can Social Scientists Use Molecular Genetic Data to Explain Individual Differences and Inform Public Policy?
    Steven F. Lehrer and Weili Ding
    10. Conclusion
    Gigi Foster

    1. Getting Started With Eye Tracking
    Daniel Pearson, Mike Le Pelley and Tom Beesley
    2. Using Heart Rate Variability Measures in Social Science Research
    Jonas Fooken and Stacey L. Parker

Product details

  • No. of pages: 359
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2019
  • Published: February 8, 2019
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128130933
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128130926

About the Editor

Gigi Foster

Gigi Foster is an Associate Professor with the School of Economics at the University of New South Wales, and holds a BA from Yale majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland. Her work spans many literatures, including education, social influence, corruption, lab experiments, and time use. She has authored or edited over 25 academic works published in a wide variety of economic and multidisciplinary outlets with co-authors from around the world. She serves the profession in many roles, including as the most junior female member of Australia’s National Economic Panel.

Affiliations and Expertise

School of Economics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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