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To download a video, click on the image (996Kb AVI).

Friends of DSN Eric Johnson and Martijn Willemsen have created an online version of the popular decision research tool MouseLab.

MouselabWEB is a process tracing tool that can be used to monitor the information acquisition process of decision makers on the web (and in the lab). It is derived from earlier work studying decision processes termed Mouselab (Johnson, Payne, Schkade, & Bettman, 1993).

The design philosophy behind MouselabWEB is to allow process tracing during ordinary web browsing. MouselabWEB uses technology already in the browser: dynamic HTML and Javascript. It works in all recent browsers, and therefore is operating system independent. The end user does not need to download plugins or other software and the pages are small enough to run experiments across a dialup phone connection. For the researcher, MouselabWEB offers a set of scripts to quickly setup and run experiments on the web. It uses mySQL and PHP (which is open source software supported by most hosting services) on the server side to save participant data, but can also used without this technology by using a form mailer that sends the data by email to the experimenter. Included in the package are webbased tools to create pages and manage data:

* A designer program to design pages with MouselabWEB and other questions
* A datalyser program to retrieve and replay a movie of the process data

MouselabWEB has already been used successfully to gather process data on the web, providing replications of well-known experimental results. It is open source (GNU/GPL license) and its developers encourage others to use it and help with development. For more information about MouselabWEB, visit: http://www.mouselabweb.org/

About the authors
Martijn Willemsen is assistant professor at Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands. Together with Eric Johnson, he designed MouselabWEB during a one year visit as researcher at Columbia University. For more information, see his web site or send him an email.Web Page of Martijn Willemsen

Eric Johnson is professor in the Marketing division of the Columbia Business School, Columbia University, New York. For more information, see his web site or send him an email. Web Page of Eric Johnson