Teamwork in Challenging Situations Study


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Dr. Kalkhoff’s “Teamwork in Challenging Environments” study examines how people use perceptive abilities that they may or may not have and work in small teams to solve novel problems. The study lasts about 3 hours, and you will earn $20.00 for the first hour and up to $40.00 for completing the main part of the study with a partner. You will be paid in cash immediately upon completing the study.

We want to emphasize that you are not required to participate in this study for the purposes of any course. Furthermore, whether or not you participate in this study will have no impact on your grade in any of your courses.

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Study Restrictions

First, you have to be at least 18-years of age to participate in this study. Second, you must have written and verbal fluency in English. Third, you must have normal hearing (i.e., no diagnosis of hearing loss). Fourth, you may not be able to participate if you have a known history of brain injuries or disorders. In short, you will not be able to participate if any of the following apply:

  1. You are taking any psychotropic medications used to treat anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, etc.
  2. You have ever had a skull fracture
  3. You have ever lost consciousness for more than 5 minutes
  4. You have ever suffered a fit, seizure, or convulsion
  5. You have been diagnosed with an Axis I disorder, including anxiety, mood, eating, psychotic, or dissociative disorders

If you are uncertain whether you might be excluded due to any of the above injuries or disorders, a questionnaire administered at the outset of the study will determine your eligibility to participate. No information that could be used to personally identify you will be associated with your answers to these questions.

How to Prepare for the Study

  1. Please show up on time the day you are scheduled to take part in the study
  2. Please try to get a good night's sleep the night before and eat as you normally would before the study. Also, please refrain from using any alcohol within 12 hours of the study and any caffeine within 6 hours of the study.
  3. Please wash your hair the day of the study, but do not use any conditioner and do not put any "product" in your hair (e.g., hair gel, hair spray, etc.)

What You Will Do in the Study


As mentioned above, please show up on time the day you are scheduled to take part in the study. All of our studies take place in the labs located on the third floor of Merrill Hall (the Sociology building) in Room 328. Clicker HERE for a map if you aren’t sure where Merrill Hall is located on campus.

If you are eligible for the study and consent to participate, you will be asked to (1) play a video game with a partner, and (2) answer a few sets of questions about your experience in the study, including questions about yourself and your partner in the study. Additionally, you may be asked to complete a short training session before you work with your partner.

EEG cap Before you and your partner play the video game, both of you will be fitted with a cap that looks like a swim cap and measures brain waves (see picture at left). This will help us understand the role of the brain in teamwork in challenging situations. Wearing the cap is much like wearing a swim cap, and aside from just making sure that the cap fits correctly, there are no special medical procedures or risks involved. However, we do use a gel to ensure that the sensors work properly. This gel is non-irritating, has the consistency of hair gel, can be washed out easily with water. At the end of the study we will provide you with a clean towel that you can use to remove most of the gel.


You will also be fitted with three self-adhesive “ECG” electrodes just beneath the left and right clavicle and the external oblique (side-mid rib). These are not dangerous and simply measure your heart rate.  Additionally, you will be fitted with electrodes on your fingers as well to measure your galvanic skin response, which is the electrical activity that your body uses to trigger sweating. At no time are we conducting electricity, we are simply measuring your body’s electrical activity. 


If you decide to sign up to participate, and after you pick a day and time that works for you, you will receive an e-mail reminder the day before your appointment.

Again, if you have a question that hasn't been answered here, please send it to

Direct sign-up link (if button does not work in your browser):

or return to the lab's homepage