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Implementing multi-session learning studies out of the lab: Tips and tricks using OpenSesame

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Doi: 10.20982/tqmp.19.2.p156

Dahm, Stephan F. , Ort, Eduard , Büsel, Christian , Sachse, Pierre , Mathot, Sebastiaan
Keywords: repeated testing , experimental application tools , serial reaction time task
Tools: OpenSesame
(no sample data)   (Appendix)

Here, we provide tips and tricks for running multisession experiments out of the lab using OpenSesame, a user-friendly experimental tool that is open source and runs on Windows, MacOS, and Linux. We focus on learning experiments that involve the measurement of reaction times. We show how such experiments can be run with traditional desktop-based experiment software on participants’ own notebooks (i.e., out-of-the-lab, but not in a browser). Learning experiments pose specific challenges: accessing individual identifying numbers, accessing session numbers, and counterbalancing conditions across participants. This article includes helpful code and provides hands-on implementation tips that will be useful also beyond the presented use case. The aim of this article is to illustrate how to create multisession learning experiments even with little technical expertise. We conclude that, if done right, out-of-the-lab experiments are a valid alternative to traditional lab testing.

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