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Experimentation I: Programming Psychological Experiments


Important Note

  • All Semester II bachelor and master psychology courses and examinations (2020-2021) will be offered in an on-line format.

  • If it is safe and possible to do so, supplementary course meetings may be planned on-campus. However, attendance at these meetings will not be required to successfully complete Semester II courses.

  • All obligatory work groups and examinations will be offered on-line during Central European Time, which is local time in the Netherlands.

  • Information on the mode of instruction and the assessment method per course will be offered in Brightspace, considering the possibilities that are available at that moment. The information in Brightspace is leading during the Corona crisis, even if this does not match the information in the Prospectus.

Entry requirements

Only open to MSc Psychology (research) students


In this course, students get an introduction into the use of programming languages and standard packages for the programming of psychological experiments (using E-Prime and its programming language E-Basic) and surveys (using Qualtrics). At the end of this course you will be able to program your own psychological experiments, an essential skill for students who aim to pursue a PhD in Psychology after their Master's.

Course objectives

This course wil enable students:

  • To understand how to use the E-Prime user interface

  • To acquire skills to program a simple psychological experiment in E-Prime

  • To learn the elementary commands and statements used in the programming language E-Basic and to understand how you can apply them in programming psychological experiments; and

  • To acquire skills to use Qualtrics for designing web surveys.


For the timetables of your lectures, work groups and exams, please select your study programme in: Psychology timetables



Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions. Master’s course registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date. Students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of:

  • 10 2-hour lectures

  • 10 2-hour practical sessions

Assessment method

Programming an E-Prime experiment within a time limit of 3 hours.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

Spapé M.M., Verdonschot, R.G., & van Steenbergen, H. (2019) The E-Primer: An introduction to creating psychological experiments in E-Prime. Second edition updated for E-Prime 3. Leiden: Leiden University Press. ISBN: 987 90 8728 320 9.

Contact information

Dr. Henk van Steenbergen