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I've often used Inquisit to run psychological experiments online. The software enables delivery of stimuli (e.g., text, images, etc.) and collection of reaction times.

Obviously general purpose programming languages provide one avenue for delivery of online experiments. There's also a good listing of software for psychological experiments here. I've also seen PsyToolkit which is GNU licensed software for programming psychological experiments, but I'm not aware of any online option.

Are there any open source options for online delivery of psychological experiments, particularly ones that enable reaction time measurement?

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I was going to recommend PEBL until I realized you meant online distribution. PEBL seems to have a good free battery of tests and lets you make your own tests if you have a programmer/programming ability, but I don't believe you can run the tests remotely. –  Ben Brocka Jan 21 '12 at 2:29
That looks like a great answer to my other question on free scientific intelligence tests: cogsci.stackexchange.com/questions/15/… ; care to add? –  Jeromy Anglim Jan 21 '12 at 2:33
Great, I don't have to discard the answer I drafted! –  Ben Brocka Jan 21 '12 at 2:45
I'm curious about this too. I use Adobe Flash to write psychological experiments -- the opposite of open source! –  Andy DeSoto Feb 6 '12 at 22:27
HTML5 is really capable and could be used to construct reaction time experiments. While I have no data on response registration latency, I can't imagine that it is that bad. A plus with using HTML is that you can run pilots (or studies) on Amazon Mechanical turk, which is a very convenient way of rallying participants. See for example: Buhrmester, M., Kwang, T., & Gosling, S. D. (2011). Amazon’s Mechanical Turk: A New Source of Inexpensive, Yet High-Quality, Data? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(1), 3-5. doi:10.1177/1745691610393980 –  Rasmus Bååth Feb 20 '12 at 8:43
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I'm not sure if it can measure reaction times but Tatool, developed at the University of Zurich, is an open source experiment platform that can be run from the web:


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Limesurvey is worth checking out (more suitable for questionnaire style tasks, but very flexible and with some coding it should be possible to, eg. record RTs)

Wextor could be another possibility - it allows building more complicated designs, has not been developed for a bit, though...

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I would highly recommend looking at http://www.qualtrics.com/. You can take a look at free trial accounts and see how its easy to use interface is still extremely sophisticated – e.g. automatic option to record response time – and can be augmented with javascript when you want to.

I'm not sure of pricing because many universities often buy a site license. But Qualtrics has revolutionized the way we do experiments.

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Hi Joseph. Welcome to the site. It's great to have someone with your background and expertise involved on the site. I guess Qualtrics isn't open source. Is Qualtrics mainly for surveys or can you do experiments involving multimedia, reaction time, randomisation of stimuli, etc? –  Jeromy Anglim Apr 27 '12 at 13:10
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WebExp is a free framework for developing web-based experiments, and the source code is freely available. The client side is a Java applet, so subjects must have Java installed on their computers. Perhaps this causes fewer drop-outs than having to install the executable generated by Inquisit Web. This paper discusses the timing accuracy of WebExp-based experiments.

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