Experiment Methods Template

Experiment methods should be described as clearly and precisely as possible to allow a reader to thoroughly and exactly replicate the experiment. This template describes a minimum set of information. Other information unique to an experiment but critical to its replication should also be included in the methods writeup.

Overall Experiment Procedure

List the sequence of experiment stages.

  1. Instructions
  2. trials
  1. Questionnaire
  2. Instructions
  3. 2 sessions on consecutive days. Each day included:
    1. 5 Practice trials
    2. 3 Blocks of trials (Runs of 50 trials with a break in between runs)
  4. Debrief questions


Independent Variables

(for within-subject multivariate experiments) Describe counterbalancing of combinations

Trial Count for Each Subject

Be explicit about how many trials each subject performed. For between-subject designs, explain the total number of trials.

3 VariableA * 10 VariableB * 2 VariableC * 10 repetitions = 600 trials per subject

Each subject ran a staircase for every combination of variable A and B (3 * 2 = 6 staircases).
Staircases convergence took 41-63 trials.

Each subject ran 3 VariableA * 10 VariableB = 30 trials.
28 subjects ran in condition C1. 29 subjects ran in condition C2.

Response Type

  • 2 alternative forced-choice
  • Values: left, right
  • Responses were made via the left and right arrow keys. A mapping for the keys was shown on the screen.
  • 5 point Likert response
  • 1 strongly disagree, 2 somewhat disagree, 3 neutral, 4 somewhat agree, 5 strongly disagree
  • Responses were made via pencil on a pre-printed sheet of options.

Dependant Variables

(Optional) Questionnaire


If you see a red item on the screen, press SPACE


Stimuli should be described as thoroughly as possible to allow for a precise replication. Describe any luminance differences or animation in a diagram and/or text. Include an example or screenshot for every condition. In a multivariate experiment, show as many combinations as is reasonable. Multiple figures may be necessary.

Source: Haroz, Kosara, & Franconeri. 2015.

Source: Cicchini, Anobile, & Burr. 2016.

Trial Procedure

Be clear about every step, and include a screenshot. Feel free to branch if certain conditions have different procedures.

Source: Haroz, Kosara, & Franconeri. 2015.