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Category: Psychology

OpenSesame Tutorial: Using Image Stimuli

In this OpenSesame tutorial we will learn how to use images as stimuli and how to load the trials; including filenames, correct responses, and conditions from a pre-generated CSV file. To follow this tutorial you don’t need to know Python programming. However, we are going to generate the CSV file using a short Python script. This can be done manually, of course. See also this OpenSesame tutorial.

OpenSesame Tutorial – How to Create a Flanker Task

In this post you are going to learn how to create a simple experiment using the free experiment building software OpenSesame. As I have previously written about, OpenSesame, is an application, based on Python, for creating Psychology, Neuroscience, and Economics experiments. It offers a nice and easy to use interface.  In this interface you can drag-and-drop different objects. This means that you don’t have to know any Python programming at all to create an experiment. If you need to know how to use images as stimuli you can see this OpenSesame Tutorial.

How to create a psychology exeriment using OpenSesame

Exploring response time distributions using Python

Inspired by my post for the JEPS Bulletin (Python programming in Psychology), where I try to show how Python can be used from collecting to analyzing and visualizing data, I have started to learn more data exploring techniques for Psychology experiments (e.g., response time and accuracy). Here are some methods, using Python, for visualization of distributed data that I have learned; kernel density estimation, cumulative distribution functions, delta plots, and conditional accuracy functions. These graphing methods let you explore your data in a way just looking at averages will not (e.g., Balota & Yap, 2011).

Kernel density estimation, Cumulative distribution functions, Delta plots, and Conditional Accuracy Functions
Kernel density estimation, Cumulative distribution functions, Delta plots, and Conditional Accuracy Functions

Required Python packages

I used the following Python packages; Pandas for data storing/manipulation, NumPy for some calculations, Seaborn for most of the plotting, and Matplotlib for some tweaking of the plots. Any script using these functions should import them:

E-prime how-to: save data to csv-file using InLine scripts

In this post I will describe, shortly, how to use InLine scripts in E-prime to save your data in comma-separated values (CSV) files. For those who are not familiar with E-prime it is an experiment generating software based on visual basic (i.e., it has its own scripting language called e-basic). Its main purpose is to make building experiment easy/easier. It offers a drag-and-drop graphical user interface (GUI) which is fairly easy to use (although I prefer OpenSesame and PsychoPy – which both offers drag-and-drop GUIs). See the Wikipedia article if you want to know more about e-prime.

This guide will assume that you have worked with e-prime before. That is, you should already have a, more or less, ready experiment that you can add the scripts to.  In the guide I use a Simon task created in e-prime as an example.

PsychoPy video tutorials

PsychoPy, as I have previously written about (e.g., Free and Useful Software and PsychoPy tutorial) is really a great Python tool for creating Psychology experiments. You can write Python code by either using  “code view” or import the package in your favourite IDE.  Furthermore, you can use the builder mode and just drag and drop different items and PsychoPy will create a Python Script for you.

If need inline scripts (in Python, of course) can be inserted. That is, you can combine drag-and-drop building with some coding.

In this post I have collected some tutorial videos that can be useful for someone unfamiliar with PsychoPy.

R resources for Psychologists

Good resources for learning R as a Psychologist are hard to find. By that I mean that there are so many great sites and blogs around the internet to learn R. Thus, it may be hard to find learning resources that targets Psychology researchers.

Recently I wrote about 4 good R books targeted for Psychology students and researchers (i.e., R books for Psychologists). There are, however, of course other good resources for Psychological researchers to learn R programming.

Therefore, this post will list some of the best blogs and sites to learn R.  The post will be divided into two categories; general and Psychology focused R sites and blogs. For those who are not familiar with R I will start with a brief introduction on what R is (if you know R already; click here to skip to the links).

What is R?

R is a free and open source programming language and environment. Data analysis in R is carried out by writing scripts and functions. Finally, R is a complete, interactive, and object-oriented language.


In R statistical environment you are able to carry out a variety of statistical and graphical techniques. For instance, linear and nonlinear modeling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, and many more can be carried using both frequentist and Bayesian paradigms.

You may want to start with R commander. It provides a menu which may make learning R a bit easier at the beginning. R can be downloaded here: The Comprehensive R Archive Network.


R resources

One of the main things that I like with R is the broad and helpful community. This also means that there are many good resources for learning the language.

R books for Psychologists

R is a free and open-source statistical programming environment. Being open-source and free it has a large and helpful online community (for instance, see StackOverflow).  When I went from carrying out analysis in SPSS to do them in R, I searched for good books targeted to Psychologists.   The following 4 R books are useful and good for Psychologists that want to learn R.
The first book, Discovering Statistics Using R, may be a really good start if you are an undergraduate and have no experience of programming or statistics. The next two books are from intermediate to advanced level. The last book is, at the moment,  free and is also a great introduction to statistics.

Papaja – APA manuscripts made easy

Do you also find it time-consuming to make your manuscripts follow American Psychological Associations (APA) guidelines? Have you searched the internet for a good .docx/.doc APA template? After reading this post, you might not have to search any more. Papaja is an r-package that makes your manuscript conform to APA guidelines! In this post I am briefly going to describe the package and what I think of it.