This is the complete description of an online psychological research project with video tutorials. It only uses questionnaires, and it does not embed a reaction time experiment (there is another lesson about that).

This lesson will teach you how to use PsyToolkit to do the following:

  • Set up an online survey

  • Write questions

  • Setup the welcome screen (including ethics information, etc)

  • Create a link for participants

  • Include existing questionnaires

  • Download data in format that SPSS can use

  • Import and analyze data in SPSS

Step 1. Hypothesis, prediction, and scales

The first step of your project is to think about what you want to test. In a serious research project, this should be based on a hypothesis and predictions.

For this demonstration, we are going to ask whether there is a relation between satisfaction with life and symptoms of depression. We are doing this for the purpose of demonstrating how to work with PsyToolkit, not because this is an interesting question! You can think about possible hypothesis why such a link might exists.

There are surveys in the PsyToolkit library about both satisfaction with life and depression, and you can read more about it there. For measuring satisfaction of life, we will use the short satisfaction with life scale (check it out here). For measuring symptoms of depression, we use the clinically useful depression outcome scale (CUDOS) (click it out here). If you are not familiar with these scales, you might read them first.

The plan for this project is to measure both the satisfaction of life and symptoms of depression and test whether the correlation between the two measures is correlated. That is a fairly straightforward psychology project.

Step 2. Setup online study

  • Now login to your PsyToolkit acount

  • Create a new survey

  • Call it, for example, "depression_study"

  • Set up the intro screen for participants

  • Make sure you save your settings

Watch the video (7 minutes) to learn how to carry out the first steps of setting up your online PsyToolkit study.

Step 3. Setup questions and scales

  • Write some demographic questions

  • Copy and paste the existing surveys

  • Save your code

  • Compile your code

Compilation is a term common in computer science. It is, in essence, the process of using the code (you typed) into code that the computer can more directly use to do something, in this case, presenting a questionnaire. Watch the video to see when you compile your questionnaire code.
Watch the video (7 minutes) to learn how to enter the questions.

Step 4. Bring your scale online and test

  • Bring the scale online

  • Set the study in the design mode for testing

  • Compile and run a test

  • Check the collected test data

Watch the video (5 minutes) to see how you make your questionnaire online accessible.

Step 5. Switch to "real" mode and collect data

  • Assuming you were happy with the test, delete the test data

  • Switch to real data collection mode

  • Send out the URL to your potential participants

Watch the video (1.5 minutes) to see how you can start collecting real data.

Step 6. Download data

  • When finished, take your study offline

  • Download the data and save to your computer

You can select the option to download files in Excel format. This format can be directly loaded into SPSS.
Watch the video (2 minutes) to see how you can download your data.

Step 7. Import and analyze in SPSS

  • Open SPSS

  • Read in datafiles

  • Plot the two measures in a scatter plot

  • Calculate the correlation coefficient between the two scores

Watch the video (4:32 minutes) to see how you can import and analyze your data in SPSS.

Any questions?

Hopefully, this helps you to set up your own study. If you still have questions, just let me know via email.