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Building Experiments in PsychoPy

Building Experiments in PsychoPy

May 2018 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

PsychoPy is an open-source (free) software package for creating rich, dynamic experiments for psychology, neuroscience, and linguistics. It provides an intuitive graphical interface (the ‘Builder’) as well as the option to insert Python code. This combination makes it easy for teaching, but also flexible enough for all manner of behavioural experiments. Divided into three parts, this textbook is suitable for teaching practical undergraduate classes on research methods, or as a reference text for the professional scientist.

The book is written by Jonathan Peirce, the original creator of PsychoPy and Michael MacAskill, and they utilise their breadth of experience in Python development to educate students and researchers in this intuitive, yet powerful, experiment generation package.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Section 1: For the beginner
Chapter 2: Building your first experiment
Chapter 3: Using images - a study into face perception
Chapter 4: Timing and brief stimuli: Posner cueing
Chapter 5: Creating dynamic stimuli (revealing text and moving stimuli)
Chapter 6: Providing feedback: simple Code Components
Chapter 7: Ratings: Measure the Big 5 personality constructs
Chapter 8: Randomization, blocks and counterbalancing: a bilingual
Chapter 9: Using the mouse for input: creating a visual search task li
Section 2: For the professional
Chapter 10: Implementing research designs with randomization
Chapter 11: Coordinates and color spaces
Chapter 12: Understanding your computer timing issues
Chapter 13: Monitors and Monitor Center
Chapter 14: Debugging Your Experiment
Chapter 15: Pro-tips, tricks, and lesser-known features
Section 3: For the specialist
Chapter 16: Psychophysics, stimuli and staircases
Chapter 17: Building an fMRI study
Chapter 18: Building an EEG study
Chapter 19: Add eye-tracking to your experiment
A: Mathematics refresher
B: Exercise solutions

This is a great book giving students an easy way to self program experiments. And even for me as a trained user of psychopy it offered some new interesting information. Great book, great program!

Dr Katrin Bittrich
Psychology, Medizinische Hochschule Brandenburg
July 3, 2019

It's a great book written in a great cause. In my opinion, students hate generating tasks in complex and unfriendly software packages - and need a great deal of workshop time and support in order to be able to do so. PsychoPy is the easiest package I have come across, and this book is a great - and approachable - introduction. It is the book I would have written if I had known anything about PsychoPy! (And I didn't). But with it, I have taken my own first steps to binning those horrible software packages of yesterday. Valuable for me, invaluable for those students needing to write their own computer tasks, and invaluable (again) for project supervisors with time to save.

Dr James Jackson
Psychology Department, Leeds Trinity University
September 10, 2018
Key features
  • Co-written by Jonathan Peirce, the original creator of PsychoPy.
  • Jonathan Peirce runs a support section of his website and has PsychoPy tutorials available on YouTube.
  • The final three chapters concentrate on methods in cognitive psychology—an area of psychology where this kind of software is most commonly used.