E-Prime Tutorial #1: Introduction to E-Prime
E-Prime enables the experimenter to display text, images, and videos, while recording the participant’s responses, accuracy, and reaction time. The program’s graphical user interface allows the user to quickly create a simple experiment by clicking and dragging objects onto the screen. Although this is enough for simple experiments, more advanced users can write E-basic code to perform more complex operations; this will be reviewed later in a tutorial on Inline objects.
When you open E-Prime on your computer, you will be prompted to select a template. The Standard templates will generate a basic experiment template with fixations, stimuli, and feedback slides. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what these terms mean right now; we will cover them in later tutorials.) If you select the Blank template, you will see the following screen:
As we learn more about E-Prime, you will be creating more complex experiments that contain multiple objects, or building blocks of an experiment, as shown below:
The backbone of an E-Prime experiment is the procedure object; each new E-Prime experiment starts with a procedure object called SessionProc. If you double-click on the object to see its contents, you will see a window that contains a horizontal line - the Procedural Timeline. It depicts the timeline of the experiment going from left to right. As we construct our experiment with objects, the timeline will present each object in sequence as it appears on the timeline. In the next chapter, we will learn how these objects are constructed and how we use them to build an experiment.
For a video overview of what E-Prime is and what it looks like, click here.