About us

Who am I?
  • Rebecca Hirst - Science Officer/Consultant and postdoc (research focus multisensory perception)

Python developers
  • Jon Peirce, Todd Parsons, Matthew Cuttone, Sol Simpson

Java Script developers
  • Alain Pitiot, Thomas Pronk

  • many other people have contributed to the PsychoPy project (Jeremy Gray, Mike MacAskill, Richard Höchenberger, Sol Simpson being the biggest contributors)

  • Nottingham University have been paying Jons salary while PsychoPy was written

  • Wellcome Trust recently gave us a grant to improve this a LOT

About the workshop

Not aiming to teach you all of PsychoPy

Hopefully give you some ideas about what’s possible

Getting to know PsychoPy

What is PsychoPy?

It’s Psychology software in Python

PsychoPy is several things:
  • a library for use in Python scripts

  • an editor including Python to edit scripts

  • an application with a graphical user interface (GUI) for building experiments

It’s, itself, entirely written in Python

Goal of PsychoPy

The aim is to enable scientists to run as wide a range of experiments as possible, as easily as possible, with standard computer hardware.

A single piece of software:
  • precise enough for psychophysics

  • intuitive enough for undergraduate psychology

  • flexible enough for everything else

  • capable of running studies in the lab or online

Choice of interface

It’s hard to make something easy enough for undergrads and novices but flexible enough for everything else.

PsychoPy provides two main options, for programmers and non-programmers, but there are also ways to combine the two.

PsychoPy is written in the Python programming language


The Coder view is used to create experiments from Python scripts


The Builder view is used to create experiments visually

Why do people Code?

  • To implement more complex experimental designs/procedures(?)

  • To break out of the current trial structure or hardware drawing loop cycle

  • To know exactly what the code is doing(?)

  • To program things that aren’t psychology experiments. (e.g. stats, simulations, analyses etc.)

Why do people Build?

  • It is far faster to develop experiments!

  • You can still understand (and build on) your experiment next year

  • You’ll probably have fewer bugs (e.g. less space for typos)

  • Code Components can be used in nearly all places where Builder isn’t enough

  • Your Builder experiment will also compile to a web (JS/HTML) experiment!

What do we do?

We use both Builder and Coder on a regular basis.

We recommend making experiments in Builder, with added Code Components. Pure code mainly used for other jobs (e.g. stimulus creation, making conditions files)

Going further

Builder interface:
Python programming (for experimental psych):

So, let’s go on and learn some Building better experiments

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