The Real Cost of Pavlovia Experiment Platform: License Model, Hidden Costs and Cost-Saving Tips

When it comes to running online behavioral or cognitive tasks, Pavlovia is a known tool among scientific researchers. By using it with frameworks such as jsPsych, you can run psychological research studies and experiments remotely in a relatively effortless manner. However, a recurring question revolves around its cost: How much really does Pavlovia cost? What are the hidden costs, and are there any strategies to save money?

Understanding Pavlovia's License Model

Before we delve into the cost details, it is crucial to dig into its license model. Pavlovia operates on a pay-per-participant model. Any researcher interested in running experiments is required to buy credits, with each credit representing a participant. The pricing varies based on the number of credits purchased.

Hidden Costs of Pavlovia

Every online experiment platform has some hidden costs. One of the "hidden" costs associated with Pavlovia is the experiment setup. The platform itself doesn't have extensive tools for setting up complex behavioral or cognitive tasks – making it necessary to use an external tool like jsPsych. Although jsPsych is free to use, it requires familiarity with JavaScript, which might necessitate additional time or costs.

The Example Cost of an Experiment with 100 Participants

Assuming you plan to run an experiment with 100 participants, you would need 100 credits. Currently, Pavlovia sells 100 credits for 100 euros. Therefore, the direct cost of running such an experiment on Pavlovia would be 100 euros. However, this does not include potential costs associated with experiment setup, maintenance, and data analysis.

Tips to Reduce Cost

Scientific budgeting is one of the greatest challenges researchers face while conducting such studies. Here are a few cost-reducing tips:

  • Plan carefully: Know exactly how many participants you'll need for your research. Reducing the number of unnecessary participants can save many credits, and therefore, money.
  • Master the tools: By truly mastering jsPsych and other useful tools to create cognitive tasks, you avoid the need to hire extra professional help.
  • Collaborate: Join forces with other researchers. Utilize platforms like to collaborate with others worldwide to share credits and resources, ultimately reducing the budget.

Running psychological research or cognitive tasks online comes with undeniable financial cost. However, understanding Pavlovia's pricing and associated hidden costs can better help in budget planning. And with a few cost-saving tips up your sleeve, you can ensure effective yet economical research—even remotely.

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