icon_que Questionnaire Files: Key Concepts

It is recommended to first read key concepts of Experiment Files before reading this section.

Questionnaire files are the workhorse of MediaLab. They are used to present and arrange the individual items of your experiment. Remember how we said earlier in the Experiment Files: Key Concepts section that Questionnaire Files were like jigsaw puzzle pieces? In the experiment file, you identify the files to be presented in your various conditions; this is where you can work with the individual items of those files.

The key concept for creating Questionnaire Files is very similar to that of creating experiments. You just need to tell MediaLab what you want to present, and the order in which you want it to happen. You can use the Experiment Editor to create, view and edit Questionnaire Files. The primary difference is that in Questionnaire Files you also ask questions. This is why in Questionnaire Files we use the term items rather than files to describe what is being presented. In contrast when talking about Experiment Files, we use the term files because that is all that Experiment Files can present.

Just like Experiment Files, Questionnaire Files can present various media images, videos, sounds, documents, html files, executable (.exe) programs, or PowerPoint shows. Unlike experiment files, MediaLab Questionnaire Files use a variety of items. MediaLab's multi-media flexibility also allows you in most cases to combine items and media, presenting them simultaneously as part of a Questionnaire File.

Another key concept to get with Questionnaire Files is that they are self-contained. They are where the actual data that appear in the output files are created. Once a Questionnaire File has been created, it can be copied and simply dropped into any other Experiment File. This makes creating new Experiment Files extremely easy when certain components are re-used (e.g., a Questionnaire File that measures a personality trait, or a Questionnaire File that contains a mood inducing video followed with manipulation checks, etc.). You can also run a Questionnaire File on its own, but Experiment Files need other flies like Questionnaire Files to run.

Remember that MediaLab help is context sensitive. When you are creating a Questionnaire File and you want to know what the purpose of a particular field is, just place your cursor in the field and then hit F1. The help files have been designed to take you right to the relevant information.