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Unit information: Creating Psychological Experiments in 2018/19

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Unit name Creating Psychological Experiments
Unit code PSYCM0056
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Quadflieg
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Psychological Science
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


This unit will provide a set of core skills for psychologists interested in setting up computerised experiments. It develops and trains the ability to design and construct computer based methods for the online and offline collection of behavioural data in order to facilitate the assessment of psychological functioning.

The aims of the unit are to provide a firm understanding of how computers can be used to administer psychological assessments in a standardised manner.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, a student will be able to:

  1. Describe and compare a range of contemporary methodologies for creating computerised psychological experiments.
  2. Identify and evaluate essential elements that characterise computer-based assessments of psychological function.
  3. Design and implement a psychological experiment using the open source package PsychoPy.
  4. Explain and discuss through a written report the methodology employed.

Teaching details

Lectures and practical sessions.

Assessment Details

Programming of a computerised assessment of cognitive function in PsychoPy (50%) and a 2000-word written report describing the assessment (50%).

Reading and References


Chetverikov, A. & Upravitelev, P. (2016). Online versus offline: The web as a medium for response time data collection. Behavior Research Methods, 48, 1086-1099.

Peirce, J. W. (2007). PsychoPy – Psychophysics software in Python. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 162, 8-13.

Peirce, J. W. (2009). Generating stimuli for neuroscience using PsychoPy. Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, 2, 10.

Ruisoto, P., Bellido, A., Ruiz, J., & Juanes, J.A. (2016). Building computer-based experiments in Psychology without programming skills. Journal of Medical Systems, 40, 148.

Recommended and further reading will be made available through Blackboard