Lecture: Designing and Understanding Psychological Experiments


Module Description

As computers proliferate, it has become increasingly important for computer scientists to understand how users perceive and interpret computer graphics and computer interfaces. This course offers an accessible introduction to psychological experiments and experimental design. You will learn the major components of a perceptual experiment as well as the fundamentals of experimental design. This includes developing a research question, setting conditions and controls, balancing specificity with generality, and choosing the appropriate stimuli and task. You will also learn statistical techniques for analyzing results, including methods specific to individual tasks.

Further Information can be found on Moodle

Target Groups

  • Informatics (M.Sc., Compulsory elective in complex „Practical Informatics")
  • IMT (M.Sc., Compulsory elective in complex „Communication and Media Technologies")
  • Kultur und Technik


  1. Introduction: What Is an Experiment?
  2. Foundations of Experimental Design
  3. The Task
    • Free Description
    • Rating Scales
    • Forced Choice
    • Specialized Multiple Choice
    • Real-World Tasks
    • Physiology
  4. Stimuli
    • Choosing Stimuli/Stimulus Databases
    • Presenting Stimuli: The Psychtoolbox
  5. Data Analysis
    • Statistical Issues
    • Common Statistical Tests
    • Special Statistical Tests
    • Signal Detection Theory