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Results of log file

Can anyone please direct me to somewhere I can get help in interpreting the results in the log file, I cant make sense of it.


  • Hi Christina,

    If you don't have messy logfiles (which can happen if you have multiple unlinked logger items in your experiment), every line represents a trial and every column a variable. Of course it depends to some extent on your experiment, i.e. every time your experiment executes the logger item, a new line is written to the file. Maybe this provides some more info:

    Good luck,


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  • Hi Eduard,
    Thank you for that, I will read through it and am sure it will be helpful.
    I think I probably do have messy log files as I have multiple loggers and it says they are unlinked although I chose an existing logger each time so I'm not sure what went wrong? As you can probably tell this is my first attempt at using anything more complicated than Windows or Word so forgive my naivety.
    I have attached my experiment in case you have time to cast your eyes over it and give me any advice and also one log file which to my untrained eyes looks like gobbledegook.

  • Oh no, your logfiles are perfectly fine, you just have to import them the right way into excel (or whichever spreadsheet reader you use). See this link for an instruction:

    or this one


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  • Thank you I have done that but I still have so many columns and I don't really understand what they mean. The only things I need to know are which age group the participant are in, whether they got the trial right or wrong and I suppose just out of interest how fast or slow they did that? Is there anywhere I can find out what the data is telling me?

  • Hi Christina,

    All variables that you defined in the experiment (either by putting them in the loop_table or by saving them as var.<variable> will be included in the data file. By default Opensesame stores all kinds of other variables along, such as calling time of all the items, response that was given for all items, etc. Usually you don't need them, so you can choose to select the variables that you want to write to file. The only danger doing that is that you forget to add an important variable and end up not being able to analyze your data.

    Is there anywhere I can find out what the data is telling me?

    If you stored those variables, then they should be in the data file (alphabetically sorted). If they are not present, you did not store them.


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  • Thank you Eduard, I'm sure it has the variables, I think I just need to find someone who can look at it and explain to me what its saying, ive never used excel before so it doesn't make immediate sense to me when I'm looking at it and I don't want to just guess and then write up my psychology report on the basis of what I think it says, I want to really be able to understand it. I'm studying with the Open University so its not like I can just go and find a tutor or lecturer and ask for them to show me, its not as easy as that, we dont meet our tutors on this module. I think I'm asking for really beginner stuff here. Thank you anyway for all the help you have given.

  • Hi Cristina,

    If you need help on what your variables mean, you have to share your variables with us and preferably also explain what you tested. Then we can try to help you.

    Generally, every line in your spreadsheet is a trial. What you usually do is averaging your important variables across trials separately per subject, so that you can compare the average response for your variable and state something like: "The average response in Condition A is lower than the average response in Condition 2". This averaged (or aggregated) data is then used to run the analysis.

    A couple of links that might help you:


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  • Thank you Eduard.
    My variables are whether the participant is in the age group 18-40 or 41-90.
    And whether participant remembered more words if they were presented with a picture, or whether they were presented just lexically.
    DV = number of words remembered
    IV1= age of participant (older/younger)
    IV2= mode of presentation (with picture/ without picture)
    Would any of you like to have a go and send me your results file? I'm always on the outlook for extra participants? Its the 'short term memory study' at the top of the discussion. It wouldn't let me load it again.
    Warm regards

  • edited April 2017

    Hi Christina,

    I took the liberty to change your expeirment. There was no condition variable stored. That is you did not say explicitly whether a trial was with or without a picture. I added that variable. (It's not super important as you can easily retrieve it anyway). Attached the experiment and a logfile.

    Basically, the only variables you need is correct and condition, ( and the age of course if you have multiple participants). So, you just sum up all the correct responses per condition and there you go.

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  • Thank you Eduard for all your help! :) That's really kind of you! You have been super helpful.

  • Hi @eduard

    i hope you are well!

    You wrote in a message above that:

    "By default Opensesame stores all kinds of other variables along, such as calling time of all the items, response that was given for all items, etc. Usually you don't need them, so you can choose to select the variables that you want to write to file."

    Not sure how you do that. Could you please explain?


  • Hi Nomi,

    in the logger, there is a checkbox to not log all variables. If you uncheck it, the list with all variables will pop up and you can tick all those that you want the logger to keep.

    Does that clear things up?


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