System for Teaching Experimental Psychology

STEP (System for Teaching Experimental Psychology) is an project designed to maximize the use of E-Prime, PsyScope, and other experiment generating systems for teaching undergraduate classes in Experimental Psychology. It is directed by Brian MacWhinney in the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. Other contributors include Ping Li of the University of Richmond, Chris Schunn of the University of Pittsburgh, and James St. James at Millikin University.

The main components of this project use the new E-Prime system, which is available for Windows only.

PsyScope, which is free but not supported, works on the Macintosh.

An article from BRMIC summarizes the project

The E-Primer provides a thorough introduction to the use of E-Prime.

STEP Resources include:

  • The mailing list that is used to share ideas and issues regarding the use of E-Prime to build experiments. To subscribe, go to When you do this for the first time, you will be asked to set up a Google Groups account. This is not a full Gmail account and they only ask for your name and password. After you do that, when you later log on you can go directly to the relevant list and subscribe by selecting "edit my membership" which is an option in the middle of the column on the right of the page.

  • SCRIPTS-Classic: Runnable E-Prime scripts that can be used to demonstrate classic experiments in Experimental Psychology. These are accompanied by descriptions of the original articles.

  • SCRIPTS-Plus: Additional E-Prime scripts for certain commonly used paradigms. These are not accompanied by descriptions of the original articles. Some of these are recent contributions.

  • PST Samples: PST maintains an excellent collection of about 50 short E-Prime scripts designed to illustrate specific programming techniques and tasks. However, to access these you will first need to get a logon ID for the PST site.

  • SCRIPTS-Student: E-Prime scripts contributed by Brian MacWhinney's students in Cognitive Research Methods in 2002 and 2003.

  • MATERIALS: The E-Prime Getting Started Guide and various PowerPoint tutorials from PST, as well as additional technical documents for response boxes, etc.

  • UTILITIES: Utilities for working with E-Prime and PsyScope

  • COURSE FRAMEWORK: Complete material set for a Lab course based on E-Prime from Chris Schunn at George Mason University

This project was supported by grant 9972437 from the Division of Undergraduate Education of the National Science Foundation. For more information, contact Brian MacWhinney at CMU.