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Thread: Typing Task Help

  1. #1

    Typing Task Help

    Hi, I have a few questions regarding a task I am trying to program into MediaLab. I would like to have a paragraph appear on the screen, and have participants simply type the paragraph. Ideally, I would like to capture time taken to type the paragraph, and number of times the participant types an 'e' or a space. The task is used as an ego depletion task: some participants are told not to type e's or spaces. The on screen display should stay the same throughout the entire task, so that participants do not know how well they are doing.

    Any help getting this going would be greatly appreciated. It doesn't seem too difficult so I imagine it may be done.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I think your imagination is pretty accurate here. Try using an essay item. You can capture and record each time they hit a particular key by using the k parameter. See:


    To display the paragraph for them to type, you can adjust the location and size of the essay window using parameter values such as (t.5,h.4) and then display the target text as either an image or as html via the background option. See:


    Let me know if you have any trouble with it!

  3. #3
    Thank you for your response, it was a big help!

    Two other things came up while I programmed the task...

    1) I used the key parameter to track both the e key and the space bar. However, in the data file the program seems to only track the e key. Is it possible to track two different keys?

    2) Also, is there a way to end the essay item after a certain key response (for instance, it ends after an exclamation point is typed) as opposed to requiring the 'continue' link to be pressed?

    Thank you again for all of your help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I believe the key tracking only allows for a single key to be tracked. I guess that answers your other question--so no it can't track and end on some other key. If you have access to anyone who knows a little HTML, you could do this as custom item.
    Last edited by jarvis24; 09-12-2007 at 06:03 AM.

  5. #5
    Thanks again Blair.

    Is there an easy way to track and end on a key if it is the only key I am tracking?

    So for instance, rather than track the e and space bar, I will only track the key that will end the item.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    No way that I can think of. You could probably find a way to do this with a custom item using a little javascript. Otherwise, could you use the Escape key as the exit key? i.e., since the Escape key already serves that function?

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