Ninth Annual JAGS and WinBUGS Workshop Bayesian Modeling for Cognitive Science

    August 26 – 30, 2019

    Event Description

    In this workshop, plenary lectures provide the theoretical background of Bayesian statistics, and practical computer exercises teach you how to apply the popular JAGS and WinBUGS software to a wide range of different statistical models. After completing this workshop, you will have gained not only a new understanding of statistics, but also the technical skills to implement models that are appropriate for the substantive hypotheses that you seek to test.


    Our first objective is for you to experience first-hand how a Bayesian approach to data analysis can improve inference and increase understanding. Our second objective is for you to obtain practical experience with JAGS or WinBUGS, easy-to-use computer programs that allow the user to implement all kinds of Bayesian models.

    Target audience

    This workshop is meant for researchers who want to learn how to apply Bayesian inference in practice. Most applications we discuss are taken from the field of cognitive science. The workshop is based on the book Bayesian Cognitive Modeling: A practical course written by Michael Lee and Eric-Jan Wagenmakers. As the workshop covers a variety of topics within cognitive science and exercises of varying difficulty, the course material is appropriate for researchers with a wide range of prior knowledge and interests.

    Although some basic knowledge of Bayesian inference is an advantage, this is not a prerequisite. In the course we use JAGS or WinBUGS (the choice is yours) in combination with R or Matlab (the choice is yours), and therefore some basic knowledge of either R or Matlab is also an advantage.

    Although we can provide you with a PC with R, JAGS, and WinBUGS, we advise you to bring your own laptop. Note that Matlab is not available on the workshop PCs. Please make sure to have JAGS/WinBUGS and R/Matlab installed and running on your laptop before the first day. Mac and Linux users are advised to use JAGS instead of WinBUGS. Mac users who prefer to use WinBUGS are advised to have WinBUGS and WINE installed and tested in combination with R or Matlab (this can be quite difficult sometimes!). For some tips on installing WinBUGS on a Mac, see

    Theory and Practice of Bayesian Hypothesis Testing: A JASP Workshop

    Our workshop Theory and Practice of Bayesian Hypothesis Testing: A JASP Workshop takes place the week before. Sign up for both workshops now and receive a 100€ discount on the registration fee!

    Call For Posters

    Participants are invited to present a poster introducing their research topic. The poster session will be held on Friday (August 30) between 17.00-18.00 at the workshop venue.

    Room JK B.11 (Building J/K)
    Roeterseiland Campus
    Amsterdam (NL)

    Workshop fees

    Early bird (until April 15th):

    (PhD) Student€ 450
    Regular€ 550

    Late birds:

    (PhD) Student€ 550
    Regular€ 650


    Places to Stay

    The conference venue is not associated with a particular hotel, therefore no specific hotel arrangement is made. Please check below for some hotel and student hostel recommendations. We advise you to book early, since August is one of the busiest months of the year in Amsterdam.


    Hotel Le Coin
    Nieuwe Doelenstraat 5
    Phone: 0031 20 524 6800
    Fax: 0031 20 524 6801

    Eden Hotel Amsterdam
    Amstel 144
    1017 AE Amsterdam
    Phone: 0031 20 530 78 78
    Fax: 0031 20 623 32 67

    Hotel Plantage
    Plantage Kerklaan 25-A
    1018 CV Amsterdam
    Phone: 0031 20 620 55 44
    Fax: 0031 20 620 24 04

    Hotel Arena
    ‘s-Gravesandestraat 51
    1092 AA Amsterdam
    Phone: 0031 20 850 24 10
    Fax: 0031 20 850 24 15
    Note: Hotel Arena is a hip place that organises loud parties until about 4 am. So unless you want to party along, this might not be the best choice.

    Hotel Alfa Plantage
    Plantage Middenlaan 26
    1018 DE Amsterdam
    Phone: 0031 20 623 57 83
    Fax: 0031 20 638 32 76


    Shelter Christian Hostel
    At various locations in Amsterdam
    Phone: 0031 20-62 53 230 (Amsterdam City) or 0031 20-62 44 717 (Amsterdam Jordan)
    Fax: 0031 20-62 76 137

    Stayokay Hostel
    At various locations in Amsterdam
    Phone: 0031 20 624 68 32 (Amsterdam Statsdoelen), 0031 20 589 89 96 (Amsterdam Vondelpark), or 0031 20 551 31 90 (Amsterdam Zeeburg)
    Fax: 0031 20 639 10 35 (Amsterdam Statsdoelen), 0031 20 589 89 55 (Amsterdam Vondelpark), or 0031 20 623 49 86 (Amsterdam Zeeburg)
    E-mail:,, or