Much research in the social sciences has been conducted using paper-and-pencil questionnaires or laboratory experiments. Since such procedures interrupt the lives of the participants, investigators have traditionally had to rely on folks who are readily at hand, hence undergraduates have become the “white lab rats” of social science.

Recently, a growing number of investigators have turned to the Internet as a venue for gathering data. Internet-based studies reach people having more diverse backgrounds, ages, and life experiences than typical college students. From the participant’s perspective, Internet-based research offers the opportunity to help social scientists, and ponder often thought-provoking studies, from the convenience of one’s own desk. The UCLA Department of Anthropology is home to one of the most active Internet research teams. Below is a sampling of ongoing studies in which you can participate (open to anyone over age 18); additional studies are listed here

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