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Item pool confusion

Hey everyone :)

I am new with openSesame and very thankful for this great openSource program and Chapeau! I am very impressed by the program.

I am trying to build an experiment and I am stuck with 2 concrete questions: The experiment itself is straight forward. People simply have to rate statements. Now I built a list with, lets say 300 statements within 3 categorieys (100 each). I divided these statments in 10 blocks. In the first block I would like to show 8 statements out of the category 1 + 8 statements out of category 2 and 8 statements out of category 3. This will change for the next block (12/8/4). Can I select a specific number of items out of a pool?

Additionally (2. question) I do not want a statement to be repeated. If its used. Its used. So in the second/3rd/4th blocks Items should not be repeated. Is it possible to somehow cross-out items if they have been seen once?

Does somebody know how to implement that or has something similiar to that ?

Thank you for you help, greetings Vanessa.


  • edited July 2021

    Hi @VJay ,

    There are many ways in which you could implement this, but I guess what I would do is define the statements themselves in an inline_script as randomized lists of strings at the very start of the experiment. Something like this:

    import random
    category1 = [
        'a statement',
        'another statement',
        # etc.
    category2 = [
        'a statement',
        'another statement',
        # etc.
    category3 = [
        'a statement',
        'another statement',
        # etc.

    Then, in the block_loop you create a column "category", which indicates the category that you want to sample from. If you want to have a 12/ 8/ 4 ratio, this would simply be implemented by having 12 rows on which the column "category" has the value 1, 8 rows with 2 and 4 rows with 3.

    Finally, at the start of each trial_sequence, you have another inline_script that takes one statement from the correct list and assigns it to an experiment variable. Like this:

    if var.category == 1:
       var.statement = category1.pop()
    elif var.category == 2:
       var.statement = category2.pop()
    elif var.category == 3:
       var.statement = category3.pop()
       raise ValueError('category should be 1, 2, or 3')  # sanity check

    Does that make sense?

    — Sebastiaan

    Buy Me A Coffee

  • I will try out :) thanks a lot

  • Dear Sebastiaan,

    I tried your advices now in diffrent ways, but I am still stuck. somehow openSesame is not taking the statements which I defined at the very beginning of the experiment as you said. Is it possible to check somehow if the lists is working ? I also created in the block loop the category. Here I am not complety sure if I understood it right what you suggested. It looks like this (teil2) now in my openSesame profile.

    • I am getting this error: exception message: category should be 1, 2, or 3

    Can somehelp out again ?

    Kind regards, Vanessa

  • Hi Vanessa,

    The error message comes from the fact that you have some empty rows in your block_loop item. You can remove them by selecting them (from row 7 to 12), right click, "remove 6 row(s.)"

    Note that in the above example, the categories are divided equally, that is, 33% each.



    Did you like my answer? Feel free to Buy Me A Coffee :)

  • Hi @VJay ,

    To show the statement instead of the category number, you should change the sketchpad content accordingly. Write [statement] instead of [category]

    Hope this helps!



    Did you like my answer? Feel free to Buy Me A Coffee :)

  • Dear Lotje,

    Yessss.. there was the logical mistake. Now it works like clockwork!!

    Thank you!!


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