Comparing Expilab and Cognition: Which is the Better Tool for Online Experiments?

Experiment design comparison between Expilab and Cognition

Designing, creating, and running online studies is a complex task. Scientists have to cope with many challenges. Both Expilab and Cognition are platforms that offer tools for researchers to conduct such experiments. This article provides a comparative analysis of these two effective tools for behavioral experiments and cognitive tasks.

Cost comparison

Both platforms are geared towards the same audience - researchers conducting psychological research – with different pricing schemes. While Cognition offers a free tier for researchers, it also comes with some limitations. On the other hand, Expilab's pricing begins with a basic subscription, which might be a constraint for independent researchers or small institutions.

Learning curve comparison

Expilab’s interface is quite straightforward, it comes with a set of tutorials and dedicated customer service. Cognition, which uses a jspsych library for running experiments, might require some time to master, but once you’ve got it, it grants you a great level of customization and flexibility.

Flexibility comparison

The key difference between these two platforms is flexibility. Expilab offers a selection of pre-set templates. Although this is useful for novice researchers or those in a rush, it could limit the ability to create more unique or specific experimental designs. In contrast, Cognition, with its strong base in the jspsych library, provides a more flexible structure and allows you to create virtually any type of cognitive task or behavioral experiment.

Community comparison

When we come to the community aspect, both platforms have their own groups. Some prefer Expilab because of its established user base and services. Cognition, however, is quickly gathering a community of academics and practitioners who appreciate the idea of open-source software, even if it comes with occasional bugs and a steep learning curve.

Indeed, running online experiments, especially remote studies, isn’t a walk in the park. It requires careful planning, adequate resources, and the right tools. Both Expilab and Cognition are designed to facilitate psychological research, although their features differ. Make your choice based on your unique needs, financial possibilities, and technical expertise.

Final thoughts

The decision to use Expilab or Cognition should be based on your specific requirements. Both offer advantages, but the best will depend on the individual researcher's needs. Research in the field of cognitive tasks and behavioral experiments is complex and requires the right tools. The decision should not be taken lightly.

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