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Experiment freezes for some participants


I started collecting data through Prolific using OSWeb (programmed with OpenSesame 3.3.10a12 Lentiform Loewenfeld). Some participants messaged me saying that the screen froze and they had to quit the experiment. I tried to identify the issue but when I try to run the experiment myself on different browsers, it works just fine. I also could not find a programming error with a specific version (due to counterbalancing) of the task. I am running the experiment on full screen mode, and there are some questions need to be answered using the mouse.

I am trying to minimize the data loss due to these technical issues. If you have experiment with similar problem or any ideas why this might happen, I would appreciate your input.

Thank you!




  • Hey Selin,

    That's annoying, but there could be many reasons for that. To have a chance in finding out what is going wrong, and fixing the problem (if it is something that can be fixed), we would need information from the participants that encountered the problem. That includes information on their system/browser/settings, but ideally also an error message. To access error message, you can open the console of your browser (under firefox it its ctrl+shift+c ). If there was an error, it should show there.

    Other than that, you can find out whether there is a systematicity which pp get this problem. For example, if you do counterbalancing and the problem occurs only for a specific group, the problem might be with the experimental logic.

    Generally, it is rather difficult to entirely exclude the possibility that there the experiment fails on some participants' machines. If it's really only a handful people among a large sample, it might be okay, to just accept it, and simply test more people.

    Hope this helps,


    Buy Me A Coffee

  • Thank you very much @eduard, after looking again, I was able to find the issue with one counterbalancing condition. However for some others, I could not replicate the problem. I also tried different browsers but perhaps this was due to an issue I cannot identify.



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