Bert Bakker and Claes de Vreese together with Gijs Schumacher and Frans Oort (both UvA) have received an NWO Investment Grant to open a Mobile Lab (more information here). As Bert explains:
Excellent social science research requires studies that are both internally and externally valid. Currently, there are many obstacles to achieve this. Lab studies often produce high internal validity, but primarily rely on student samples (external validity issue) and are conducted in clinical settings (ecological validity issue). To address this researchers move their lab to the field (e.g., schools, sporting events, museums or festivals). But researchers face high transaction costs with these so-called lab-in-the-field studies: there are many practical issues to consider and some of these even threaten the internal validity of the study.
We offer a simple and innovative solution by creating a mobile social science lab – The Mobile Lab. This facility enables researchers to easily set-up a lab across the country on specific locations. We will invest in mobile electroencephalography (EEG), eye-tracking and psychophysiology equipment as well as mobile cameras for in-depth interviews and behavioural observations. The Mobile Lab will be a national infrastructure and enable Dutch social scientists to test their theories on high-quality samples. In the coming months, the team will start developing the lab. More information will follow here soon.