This Week I Learned…How To Run Psychopy Online

Psychopy online is a revolutionary tool that allows you to run Psychopy experiments without the need for a local installation. This is made possible through Pavlovia, an online platform that allows you to upload your experiments and run them remotely.

This blog post explores what Psychopy is, what Pavlovia has to offer, and a step-by-step guide on how to run Psychopy online using this platform. With the rise of remote work and research, Psychopy online is a game-changer for those looking to conduct experiments from anywhere in the world. So, let’s dive in and discover how you can take advantage of this amazing tool!

What Is Psychopy?

Psychopy is an open-source software package widely used by researchers in psychology and neuroscience to create experiments. It allows researchers to design and run experiments using a wide range of stimuli, including text, images, sounds, and videos.

Think of Psychopy as a toolbox that enables researchers to create custom-made experiments with precision and ease. It provides a user-friendly interface that allows researchers to drag-and-drop stimuli into their experiments and set up the parameters for each stimulus. With Psychopy, researchers can create a wide range of experiments, from simple reaction time tasks to complex studies involving eye-tracking and EEG.

One of the key features of Psychopy is its flexibility. Researchers can customize the software to suit their specific needs, whether that involves creating custom-made stimuli or integrating the software with other tools and hardware. This flexibility allows researchers to create experiments that are tailored to their research questions and hypotheses.

Another advantage of Psychopy is its accessibility. It is open-source software, which means that it is freely available to anyone who wants to use it. This makes it an ideal tool for researchers who are working on tight budgets or who want to collaborate with colleagues in different locations. There is also an extensive forum to help with any issues along the way

In summary, Psychopy is a powerful and flexible tool that allows researchers to design and run experiments with precision and ease. Its user-friendly interface and open-source nature make it an ideal choice for researchers in psychology and neuroscience.

What is Pavlovia?

Pavlovia is an online platform that enables researchers to create and run experiments in the browser. It is a product of the open-source software PsychoPy, which is widely used by psychologists and cognitive scientists to design and run experiments on a variety of topics.

With Pavlovia, researchers can easily create and share their experiments, making it easier for others to replicate and build upon their findings. The platform also offers tools for data management and analysis, making the research process more streamlined and efficient.

Think of Pavlovia as a virtual lab that allows researchers to conduct experiments on a global scale. It provides a simple and accessible way for researchers to collect data from participants all over the world without the need for expensive equipment or in-person interactions.

If you are looking for a way to conduct experiments online, Pavlovia is definitely worth checking out. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, it offers a simple and effective way to conduct research in the digital age.

How to Run Psychopy Online with Pavlovia?

Running Psychopy online is a great way to conduct experiments remotely, especially in times where face-to-face interactions are limited. But how exactly can you run Psychopy online?

Step 0: Download PsychoPy On Your Computer & Create a Pavlovia and GIT Account

For the purposes of this demonstration, I will assume you have already downloaded the Psychopy software and created an account with both Pavlovia and GitLab

Step 1: Create a Dedicated Project Folder

The demonstration for this guide will be a pilot study for my new project

For the best use of the Pavlovia platform, you should create a brand new folder for your Psychopy experiment that contains all the materials you need for your project.

Step 2: Build Your Experiment in Psychopy Builder

Additional resources are important for online studies

Use the Psychopy builder app on your desktop to create the experiment you want to run online. Make sure to include all the “Additional Resources” like images, loop conditionals, or code you will need for your experiment by configuring the Online section of your settings. This is very important to run your study remotely. If you have more than 200 additional resources, Psychopy suggests other methods to load these resources.

Step 3: Log and Sync to Pavlovia

psychopy online tools
The tools in Psychopy Builder we need to run an online experiment

Click on the second blue button, with the icon of a person, to make sure you are logged into your Pavlovia and GitLab accounts. Then, click the last green button with the cycle sign to sync the project into your account.

Step 4: Create A New Project in Pavlovia within Psychopy Builder

This might look different on a Windows machine
Name your Pavlovia Project

Since this is the first time we are pushing our experiment, we will get a message to add a new project to Pavlovia. The project will be located on You should use the project folder we created in step 1 as the local root for the online study. If you want to keep track of the changes you make to your project, a third dialog box will allow you to make any summaries of changes.

Step 5: Navigate to “Experiments” on Pavlovia

Log into Pavlovia and hit “Dashboard.” This will take you to your profile, but we want to view our “Experiments.” Here, you can see the synced project from Psychopy Builder.

Step 6: Pilot the Psychopy Online Project

Information about your Project

The experiment is automatically “inactive,” so click “piloting” to change the status of the project and “pilot” test if the experiment works. You can also hit “View Code” to take you to the GitLab repository, where your resources and experiment are hosted online.

On this screen, you can specify how you want your data to be saved, whether to save incomplete results, and to download the results of your study when it’s active and running. However, when you run your account, you will need credits to download participant data. Luckily, it’s $0.25 to download data for each participant.

Step 7: Fix Any Issues in Psychopy Builder

If you find any issues during the piloting of your study, which is common, you can fix the study back in Psychopy builder. Be sure the check out the Psychopy discourse forum if you need help with an issue. Then, click the green sync button again when you are ready to repeat the process of piloting.

Step 8: Run Your Experiment Online!

Once you’re done checking your experiment with the pilot feature, you can start running your experiment online! Change the status of the experiment to receive a URL to your experiment to send to your participants. Using this link, they can participate remotely.

And that’s how you build, sync, and share experiments with Pavlovia and Psychopy online!

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