Building better experiments

Using Builder

All the base knowledge we assume at the start of this workshop can be learnt from this 15 minute video

This shows you how to make the ‘posnerHand’ demo available from previous examples

What makes a PsychoPy experiment?

Open the posnerHand.psyexp file. An experiment in Builder has:

  • a single Flow (specifies the order in which things occur and whether they repeat in a Loop)

  • one or more Routines that are combined in the Flow

  • several Components that are combined to form Routines

The conditions file

Open the conditions.xlsx file…

If you are going to change something on every repeat of a routine (e.g. stimulus location changes on each trial) you can use a Conditions file. This is fed into the loop surrounding the routine.

Each header is a parameter, each row corresponds to the value of that parameter on each repeat/trial.

Making edits

  • Add some instructions

As a general styling tip, we suggest to keep the number of routines to a minimum. Got several sets of instructions? use a loop!

First, let’s practice making edits to make sure we are comfortable with builder view.

Exercises (10 minutes)

  • add 2 more trials to the conditions file using the ‘neutral’ arrow image (we want it so that the target can appear either on the left or the right)

  • add an end routine to thank participants for taking part

  • in the end routine, ask participants to press a button to end the task (you can use a polygon for the ‘button’)

Running online studies

So now we have a very simple experiment that works locally, let’s see how we would get that online.

This is where the globe symbols come in, which represet online functionality.

Running online studies

To get our study online, we check that we are signed into our pavlovia acount. Then we ‘sync’ our project. As we create the project we have the options to:

  • select which ‘group’ we want to push a project to

  • add a description that will appear on the ‘Experiment’ page online

  • add keywords to help future users find your task (if you make it public)

  • choose if we want the task to be public (we can change that later)

To view your study online, log into, you will see your experiment under Dashboard > Experiments.

Let’s get some data!

(Please do not use any identifying information in your participant ID)

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