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Reaction time in base form

Hi all!

I`m using open sesame for my M.A. thesis in Linguistics. Specifically, I am showing a sentence, then a comprehension question and then, the options are shown in a custom base form. The participants are asked to respond by choosing one of the 4 options.

When trying it, the CVS file tells me which option was chosen, but it is also crucial to know the response time. This variable seems to exist in the CVS file under time_form_base.

However, I have no idea what these numbers mean. the first two numbers are 19966.426899 and 35256.8846. Those could not be milliseconds. So what are they? Then, the numbers keep increasing with each row.

I need to see the time (in milliseconds) that is required for each item in the form_base. Is this possible? Do I need to use another method?

Thank you so much for your help!



  • Hi Sarina,

    Unfortunately, forms don't allow the measurement of response times that happen within the form itself. You only get the time of when the form was called and the time of when the item after the form was called (these are the numbers that you see in the csv, relative to the start of the experiment in milliseconds). So you can get the total time spent on the form.

    If you want RTs for events inside a form, there are a few workarounds that could help (depending on how your form collects the info), but they are not ideal. For example, you could present the form twice, the first time is just to show the information and participants should hit any key whenever they know what to respond, which then prompt the actual form, where they can then indicate which of the options they prefer. So essentially, you are separating the RT computation from the actual response. If you have forms with only a single question in them, it is even simpler, than you can simply subtract the time variables of the form (time_form_base or whatever it is called for you) and the of the item that followed the form. In case choosing one of the 4 options triggers the form to complete (via click_accepts=True ), you should get reasonably accurate RTs. In case you have more than one question that participants need to answer, then this won't work.

    Hope this helps,


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