A fast-paced game app where players pretend they are baggage screening officers operating airport x-ray scanners can provide researchers with billions of pieces of data in record time, they added.
“Questions that could have taken decades to answer in a laboratory setting or that could not be realistically answered in a lab can be examined using big data gathered in a relatively short time,” added lead author Stephen R. Mitroff from Duke University.
To demonstrate the potential of mobile technology to gather data, the researchers partnered with Kedlin Co, the developer of the popular mobile app game Airport Scanner.
The game challenges players to identify illegal items in luggage passing through an airport x-ray scanner.
Between January 2013 and November 2014, the game provided anonymous data from more than two billion trials from over seven million mobile devices.
The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.