STEP E-Prime Scripts: Experimental Paradigms and Examples
These sample scripts illustrate particular experimental paradigms that have been replicated successfully in E-Prime. They do not have associated documentation, so an explanation has been offered here. Click on the name to download. Unless otherwise noted, the scripts have been contributed from researchers at Carnegie Mellon.
  1. Crossed-Uncrossed Differences in Reaction Time
    This compares the reaction times for stimuli that are perceived and responded to with the same or different sides of the brain.
  2. Cross Lexical Decision
    Subjects hear sentences and are asked to determine whether strings they see are words or not.
  3. Cross Naming
    Subjects are given a sentence to read aloud then a word to pronounce. They are tested on how quickly they say the word aloud.
  4. Cued Shadowing
    This script simulates cued shadowing. If you have a button box with an attached microphone, it will record how quickly the subject responds to a voice shift in a recorded stimulus.
  5. Digit Span
    This script allows determination of an individual's auditory digit span. It's tunable as far as number of blocks and duration of stimuli are concerned. It gives sets of 5 trials on a set of digits that starts with a length of 3 and goes up or down depending on performance (3+ correct makes the number of digits increase, 2- makes it decrease).
  6. Dual Response
    This script is one way to handle having more than one correct answer in a trial. There are other ways to do this, but this one does not include any E-Basic Script.
  7. E-Kick
    A command line utility contributed by Paul Groot of the Free University of Amsterdam. This utility can specify start-up information (such as subject number) by using command line parameters. With this utility, you can create batch files for test batteries or you can start E-Prime from another application, such as PowerPoint or Authorware. E-Kick also allows users to specify a custom output location (and filename) for the data files. The latest version also has some support for running user defined subroutines before and after the test. A read-me with more information is included in the attached zip-file.
  8. Implicit Attribution Task
    A demo version of the Implicit Attribution Task (IAT) donated by Charles Bonnemayer at Masstricht. The reference to the original study is: Greenwald, A. G., McGhee, D. E., & Schwarz, J. L. K. (1998). Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: The Implicit Association Task. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1464-1480.
  9. Inspection Time Task
    This is an example of a visual staircase procedure. In this test two vertical lines of different length are draw, very briefly. The shorter line is masked after a variable delay by making both lines equal in length. Participants are instructed to choose the longest. The masking delay is increased or decreased in steps of 50 milliseconds by applying a staircase procedure. Contributed by Paul Groot of the Free University of Amsterdam.
  10. Iowa Gambling Task
    Contributed by James Patterson of Louisiana State University.
  11. KeyCodeMap
    This is a collection of three programs contributed by David McFarlane of Michigan State University. They demonstrate how to decode {key} nomenclature from within multiple-response RESP strings. They are provided along with example .edat files in both E-Prime 1.2 (.es) format and E-Prime (.es2, base edition) format.
  12. Lexical Decision (Profanity)
    This script investigates whether profanity is faster or slower to recognize than non-profane words and non-words.
  13. Masked Reading (aka Poor Man's Eye Tracker): This script implements a reading test where only a few words are readable, and the rest of the text is masked. The arrow key's can be used to walk through the text. A custom output file is created with detailed timing information. Contributed by Paul Groot of the Free University of Amsterdam.
  14. Multiple Responses
    This experiment is a scripting-intensive solution to the problem of collecting multiple responses. There are much more elegant ways to do this, but this one mucks around with the input object, so it can be instructive.
  15. MultiTowers
    A multiple version of Towers of London and Hanoi contributed by Hansjörg Neth (
  16. N-Back Test
    This is two experiments, a simple 1-back test, and a more complex n-back test from Ben Robinson and Becky Fuller at Maryland.
  17. Sentence-Probe Presentation
    This experiment uses two lines of E-Basic code to vary whether a probe is presented after a sentence or not.
  18. Serial Position.
  19. Test of Reception of Grammar (TROG)
    A computerized implementation of the TROG contributed by Heidi Feldman of U Pitt.
  20. Tower of Hanoi (TOHx)
    This is a mouse-driven version of the classic Tower of Hanoi task in which the subject is supposed to find the fastest solution (in terms of number of moves) from a given initial state. Contributed by Paul Groot of the Free University of Amsterdam.
  21. Word Selection Grid
    For use with multiple recognition responses or a survey, this sample program allows you to click on the checkbox or the actual word to select it and logs the word in the WordSelection attribute. The display may be modified by changing the CellWidth and/or the maximum numbers of rows and columns. Please refer to the Experiment object, the User tab in the Script window, and each of the InLine objects for explanations of the script.

If you have a login name and password for the E-Prime site, you can download samples for specific programming tasks from the PST Script Sample library as well.

For more information or to send corrections or additions, contact Brian MacWhinney at Carnegie Mellon.