Core Concepts

Before delving into the depths of the experiment Support System, it is worthwhile to briefly cover the core concepts used in the experiment Support System and how they interact with each other.

The central element in the experiment Support System is the experiment. The experiment is created by the researcher, who then recruites the participants who generate the experiment’s results.

Each experiment consists of one or more pages. In the experiment these pages are linked together to define the experiment participants’ path through the experiment. On each page the participants are shown a series of questions. The questions can either be used to present the participants with information or to request the participants to provide responses to specific prompts or questions.

Experiments can have data attached to them, enabling the creation of flexible, data-driven experiments. The Experiment Support System supports two types of data. Basic data sets consist of lists of data items and can be attached to individual pages. Each data items attributes can then be used in the questions or information shown to the participants. Permutation sets are automatically derived from two source data sets and can be used to create complex experiments that use a latin-square to ensure that participants responses to stimuli are balanced.

Control Item
Control Items
A data item for which the control flag has been set to “Yes”.
Data
Experiments can have data attached to them, in order to support the creation of flexible, data-driven experiments. The Experiment Support System supports two kinds of data: data sets and permutation sets.
Data Item
Data Items
A data item is a set of key - value attributes that are grouped into one item and that can be accessed in a page that has been linked to the data set the data items belong to.
Data Set
Data Sets
Basic data sets are lists of data items, that can be used in pages to create data-driven experiments.
Experiment
Experiments
The core element of the experiment Support System is defined as a set of pages that are linked together to define the experiment that the participants provide results for.
Page
Pages
A page in an experiment consists of one or more questions. pages are linked together to form the complete experiment and the transitions between pages define the participants’ path through the experiment.
Participant
Participants
The participants are people recruited by the researcher to participate in an experiment
Permutation set
Permutation sets
Permutation sets are used to create latin-square based, balanced experiments. They are derived from two basic data sets based on constraints set up when the permutation set is created.
Question
Questions
A question either shows information to the experiment participants or requests that the participants provide a response to a prompt or question. The experiment Support System comes with a default set of questions, but additional question sets can be added.
Researcher
The researcher is an Experiment Support System user who creates experiments, invites participants, and processes results.
Result
Results
When each participant interacts with the experiment, the responses are stored by the Experiment Support System and form the results that the researcher can download and then process to evaluate the experiment’s output.