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Thread: Mouse vs keyboard and using the 0 (zero) key?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    3,318

    Mouse vs keyboard and using the 0 (zero) key?

    [edited from support email]

    I have created several Scale responses in my questionnaire. I have values from 0-5 defined. This works just fine when clicking the participant uses the mouse to select the "0" option, but when using the keyboard number keys, the "0" does not select. All other numbers do.
    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    3,318
    0 would be used to select a 10th option. There isn’t actually a zero key as far as MediaLab knows. Since you can use the F1-F12 keys, some people label those with stickers to indicate the repsonse values e.g., 0-5, -3 to +3, etc.

    See also the section on data in the guide--it talks about this and how you can have the values automatically recoded if you like. Note that the data stored by default are the buttons they press, not the labels that appears on screen. e.g., If the first button was labelled -3 (there is obviously no -3 key!), the data would indicate that they pressed the "1" key.
    Last edited by jarvis24; 08-17-2006 at 05:56 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Cautionary Note
    Caution should be used in labeling buttons in this way (e.g., 0-4 for a 5 point scale) unless you are going to make subjects use the mouse.

    Remember that the button selections are coded in the data file by which button they select (i.e., 1-12). MediaLab ignores the labels because they could be labeled anything (-5, R, 0, nothing). The rationale for this rule was that no matter what label (if any) on a button, the experimenter would always know which button was selected (i.e., 1-12). This creates a problem though in cases where the label change is also a number from 1-12. Because the labels are then valid keyboard responses, the subject will likely press a button on the keyboard that corresponds to the label.

    e.g., if you have reordered the buttons:

    How many children do you have?

    5 Five
    4 Four
    3 Three
    2 Two
    1 One
    0 None

    Say you have 2 children. You could indicate this by clicking on the fourth option and then a "4" would appear in the data file. However, you could also indicate this by pressing the number "2" on the keyboard. However, MediaLab would see that as selecting button #2 in which case a "2" would appear in the data file. The easiest way around this trap is to not use alternate labels for buttons if those labels are also valid response keys (i.e., 1-12). In the preceding example, this would be much safer:

    1 One
    2 Two
    3 Three
    4 Four
    5 Five
    6 None

    Or better yet, add a (k-1) parameter to the scale response. That will disable keyboard input for the item and force subjects to use the mouse (the k-1 function, I believe, has been available since the final release of v2004).
    Last edited by jarvis24; 11-13-2006 at 01:30 PM.

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