Tutorial 1: How To Test A Participant

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These instructions show how you can test both adults and children. For a downloadable version, click here [1].

Contents

Preliminary

Download the file "Who has more" (this name may vary depending on the project) and unzip the folder wherever you would like on the computer.

To test a participant, open the folder and double click "WhoHasMore.jar." Again, the name might be different for your specific project. There will only be one .jar file in your folder. The program should open with a gray screen. Click "File," then "Start blue/yellow Who has more." Name the results file, leaving .xls at the end, and enter the subject IDs with whatever works with your lab protocols. Do likewise for the parameters. Next, explain the task to the subject.

Verbal Instructions for Adults

Use the following instructions when testing adults.

"You're going to see lots of dots flash on the screen really quickly. There will be yellow dots and blue dots. They're going to be all mixed up together, and they can be different sizes.

After the dots disappear, your job is to decide if there were more YELLOW dots or more BLUE dots. If you think there were more yellow, press this key here." (INDICATE 'f' key) "And if you think there were more blue, press this key here." (INDICATE 'j' key)

"You should try to ignore the variation in the dot sizes, and they should not be the basis of your answer. Answer only 'more yellow' or 'more blue' based on the number of the dots, not on their sizes. The dots are going to be flashed too quickly to count, and trying to count verbally from memory typically results in worse performance than just using your first best impression.

Give your best guess as to which color has more using your first impression from looking at the scene as a whole. Blue and yellow never have the same number; one always has more. Even if you're not sure, give your best guess. There are (READ NUMBER FROM GRAY START SCREEN) trials and it will take you about 8 minutes. Press the spacebar to begin each trial. You can take a break anytime you like by simply not pressing the spacebar.

"When you're ready to try one, press this spacebar."

Verbal Instructions for Children

Use the following instructions when testing children.

"This is a fast number game. Here's how it goes. You're going to see a bunch of dots flash on the screen really quickly. There will be yellow dots and blue dots. They're going to be all mixed up together, and they can be different sizes.

After the dots disappear, your job is to decide whether there were more YELLOW dots or more BLUE dots. If you think there were more yellow, press this key here." (INDICATE) "And if you think there were more blue, press this key here." (INDICATE) [optional: if you think the child cannot press the buttons, they can just say the name after each trial and the experimenter can press the buttons. We find that most children, even at three years old, can press the buttons themselves if the buttons are marked with colored tape, such as yellow and blue.]

"Remember, the dots are going to be flashed too quickly to count, so just give your best guess which color has more. They never have the same number; one always has more. So even if you're not sure, give your best guess.

"When you're ready to try one, press this spacebar."

(AFTER CHILD HAS PRESSED SPACEBAR TO INITIATE PRACTICE TRIAL #1): "Did you see the dots? Which did you think had more, yellow or blue?"

AFTER CHILD HAS RESPONDED: "Great! Ready to try some more?"

(PRACTICE PROBLEMS, typically 2-10, FOLLOWED BY EXPERIMENTAL PROBLEMS, typically 11-80)

(OPTIONAL: IF A CHILD WISHES TO CORRECT HIS/HER RESPONSE AFTER HAVING PRESSED ONE OF THE KEYS, THEY MAY INDICATE THIS TO THE EXPERIMENTER WHO WILL RECORD THE CHILD'S REVISED ANSWER ON THE SCORE SHEET. WE TYPICALLY DO NOT TELL CHILDREN THIS AS IT CONFUSES THEM AND CORRECTIONS ARE VERY RARE.)

Variations

We typically cover the 'f' key with yellow tape and the 'j' key with blue tape. The key assignments can be changed (e.g., to 'y' and 'b'), and they can also interface with a button box if necessary. Also, the subject can just shout out an answer and the experimenter presses the button. Reaction time is recorded but typically not needed.

See also

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