Software, code & tools


Lab.js — A graphical builder for browser-based experiments

Much of our research data is collected through the browser, both in the laboratory and online. We especially value the efficiency, flexibility, and independence of location that this approach provides. Similarly, our experience from teaching confirms that students enjoy and appreciate learning these methods, which are useful in both research and applied work.

Experimental research in the browser has, however, heretofore been underserved by tool developers. While several tools exist that make questionnaire-based data collection very easy, this is far less so for basic experimental research, which has often required coding studies by hand.

Therefore, we have developed lab.js, which is a toolkit for browser-based experimental studies. It contains a graphical experiment builder that allows researchers (and students) to create complex experimental paradigms with only a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, while also providing more experienced researchers the flexibility to customize their studies to the greatest possible extent.

Official Homepage:

lab.js and the associated paper (see below) have reveived the Psychonomic Society 2022 Best Article Award and the DGOF (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Online-Forschung) Best Paper Award 2020.

  • Henninger, F., Shevchenko, Y., Mertens, U. K., Kieslich, P. J., Hilbig, B. E. (2022). lab.js: A free, open, online study builder. Behavior Research Methods, 54, 556–573.
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Psynteract — Interactive experiments for the behavioral sciences

We regularly use paradigms from behavioral economics such as games and social dilemmas in our work, but applying the methods of basic (cognitive) psychological research. To be able to combine the two, we have developed psynteract, which extends experimental software typically used in psychology to support true, real-time interaction between participants as required for the study of joint decision-making.

Psynteract adds real-time interaction to any Python-based experimental software, and can be included in OpenSesame using a drag-and-drop graphical interface

Developed by Felix Henninger and Pascal Kieslich

Code and documentation

  • Henninger, F., Kieslich, P. J., & Hilbig, B. E. (2017). Psynteract: A flexible, cross-platform, open framework for interactive experiments. Behavior Research Methods, 49, 1605–1614. DOI