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Using SMS Text Messaging for Teaching and Data Collection in the Behavioral Sciences

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Executive Summary

Recent interest in university teaching has focused on interactivity in lectures and practical classes, and teachers in several fields have set up systems in which students can interact with the lecturer using mobile-phone based SMS text messaging. This approach has particular potential in psychology, where students could use SMS messaging as a way of responding in simple psychology experiments or demonstrations. The authors describe a simple architecture for an SMS-based responding, using an SMS-to-HTTP message relay service, and a PHP/MySQL input - output handler. The authors describe briefly two experiments that have run using the system. The first experiment examined anchoring effects in an SMS-based auction. The second experiment examined delay discounting, with participants indicating their intertemporal preferences using SMS.

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