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Experimentation I: Programming Psychological Experiments


Entry requirements

Only open to MSc Psychology (research) students


In this course, students get an introduction into the use of programming languages and standard packages for the programming of psychological experiments (using E-Prime and its programming language E-Basic) and surveys (using Qualtrics). At the end of this course you will be able to program your own psychological experiments, an essential skill for students who aim to pursue a PhD in Psychology after their Master's.

Course objectives

This course will enable students:

  • To understand how to use the E-Prime user interface

  • To acquire skills to program a simple psychological experiment in E-Prime

  • To learn the elementary commands and statements used in the programming language E-Basic and to understand how you can apply them in programming psychological experiments; and

  • To acquire skills to use Qualtrics for designing web surveys.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable


NOTE As of the academic year 2021-2022, you must register for all courses in uSis.
You do this twice a year: once for the courses you want to take in semester 1 and once for the courses you want to take in semester 2.
Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from early August. Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from December. The exact date on which the registration starts will be published on the website of the Student Service Center (SSC)

By registering for a course you are also automatically registered for the Brightspace module. Anyone who is not registered for a course therefore does not have access to the Brightspace module and cannot participate in the first sit of the exam of that course.
Also read the complete registration procedure

Mode of instruction

The course consists of:

  • 10 2-hour lectures

  • 10 2-hour practical sessions

Assessment method

Programming an E-Prime experiment within a time limit of 3 hours.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

Spapé M.M., Verdonschot, R.G., & van Steenbergen, H. (2019) The E-Primer: An introduction to creating psychological experiments in E-Prime. Second edition updated for E-Prime 3. Leiden: Leiden University Press. ISBN: 987 90 8728 320 9.

Contact information

Dr. Henk van Steenbergen