Testimonials - what do people think of PsychoPy?
OK, so we know that PsychoPy has quite a lot of users
We also know that quite a few people have written manuscripts that cited PsychoPy
But did the users actually enjoy using the software or was it a painful experience?
This page will hold the (roughly honest) opinions of users. If you’d like to add your
own testimonial then go to this
(Updating the testimonials will be done periodically so don’t expect your comment to appear here instantly,
but we’ll try and remember to do it every now and then. Please don’t swear!!)
You may be interested in the survey of behavioural software by the Language Production Lab at UCSD
PsychoPy is one of those things that improve the life of an experimental psychologist. Really. #python #neuroscience
- Davide Massida, via twitter
It's wonderful to have a product that makes stimulus presentation easy (and is free!) while also providing Python as the underlying language so we can add the power we need.
We've used PsychoPy in several studies and we're super happy with it. Thanks, team!
- Nate Vack, Research Programmer, UW-Madison
The developers of PsychoPy have provided a valuable service for the scientific community. PsychoPy is a powerful presentation software package built on the foundation of one of the most ubiquitous open source programming languages in use to day. PsychoPy's builder interface makes it accessible to beginners, and the easy to use API makes it helpful to even the most advanced Python programmers when programming experiments. I say this as a former professional computer programmer. When I came to neuroscience, I spent a lot of time and consideration regarding which software packages I would use to program my experiments. I chose PsychoPy, and I have not regretted that decisions.
- Jared Roberts, PhD student, University of California, Irvine
What made me switch was the combination of Builder and Coder options. Students are not scared of the Builder, but I can still write code when needed (and even hide it in student experiments).
- Harriet Allen, Lecturer, University of Nottingham
PsychoPy is excellent. I came to it from having used Macromedia Director (Lingo) and PsyScope for my experiments before. Director was very powerful but also too big, and PsyScope -- as any 'experimental package' really -- too limiting. PsychoPy fit the bill: It is flexible, yet relatively easy to learn, and it is free, and cross-platform compatible.
What never ceases to amaze me, me, though, is the dedication of its developers to continually improve it, and the extremely helpful and fast responses I get to any queries.
I am mostly using it for my own research, and with my PhD students, but I have once also used it for a UG project. The student did not know the first thing about programming, but needed to use a BART. Fortunately, there was a BART demo with PsychoPy, and the student could very easily adapt this to her needs.
Thumbs up all around for PsychoPy!
- Marc Buehner, Reader, Cardiff University
PsychoPy is a fantastic tool for creating experiments. It combines the elegance and power of Python programming for experts with a graphical user interface for novices, that the PsychoPy team has put an enormous effort into developing. Because it is open source, its growth in popularity must have already resulted in many labs saving thousands of dollars in software licenses for alternatives they would have had to buy, like MATLAB. Because it is Python, which has emerged as the standard open-source language for interdisciplinary efforts in neuroscience, it is furthering closer integration of psychology with neuroscience. Because there is a helpful community of expert users on the forums, the PsychoPy community helps many new researchers get their start with experiment programming. For my department's postgrad students, I am currently planning a 3-day workshop taught mainly by Software Carpentry, a group of expert programmers, volunteers teaching for free (who are only interested in teaching open-source solutions) to skill up the next generation of scientists with advanced programming techniques that facilitate replicability, using R (which plays nicely with Python) and Python and PsychoPy. In any field, it is generally difficult to get much traction against established legacy solution with thousands of users ( in this area, including MATLAB), but PsychoPy has done so.
- Alex Holcombe, Associate Professor, University of Sydney
The great thing about PsychoPy isn't that it's free (though it is), or that the people who make it are very dedicated and helpful people (though they are), or that it can be extended to use a huge range of paradigms and hardware (though it can). The great thing is that PsychoPy is all done in Python.
I never took any CompSci or programming courses. I didn't grow up soldering together transistors. I just about know where the "on" switch is. And yet, I was able to put together an experiment that uses a keyboard, a touchscreen, an eyetracker, and a microphone for input. With other psychological experiment software, that required kludgey workarounds, advanced programming skills, and probably a punching bag next to your desk. With PsychoPy, with the demos that come with it, with all the diverse applications that get posted to the usergroup every day, it's just a bunch of lines of human-readable Python code.
- Daniel Bürkle, PhD student, University of Canterbury, Department of Linguistics
PsychoPy is great. I use it for almost all my experiments now. It transfers between Mac and PC, has a great GUI but is easy to customise with a bit of scripting, a helpful user community, can be explained to a student in an hour or so, is constantly updated by people who are active reserach scientists, is free and - well - actually, what more could you ask for?
- Fenja Ziegler, Senior Lecturer, University of Lincoln
I have used PsychoPy to present audio and visual stimuli for fMRI and behavioral experiments. PsychoPy made it very easy to put together presentation scripts quickly with their demos that cover most elemental usecases. Being free and independent of Matlab makes it possible to run my experiments anywhere without worrying about licensing issues.
- J. Swaroop Guntupalli, Postdoctoral Researcher, Dartmouth College
I learned PsychoPy when my advisor decided to move away from MATLAB due to cost. It was intuitive to learn, and I now love PsychoPy Coder for stimuli creation.
Its extra tools, such as the Monitor Center gui really make setting-up and calibrating less of a headache.
The thing I love most is that PsychoPy is one of the most portable platforms to code in; I can code on my PC laptop and then put it on a lab Mac and things almost always run without extra debugging. NOTHING that I've tried has such a good track record.
- Andy Silva, PhD student, UCLA
I have been using PsychoPy since 2005. There are many reasons why I use PsychoPy---a few of them: 1) The design decisions underlying PsychoPy's organisation, feature set, and implementation make it simple and powerful to implement experiments, which I believe stems in a large part from the developers and maintainers being active and working scientists. 2) PsychoPy has a supportive and responsive community of developers and users, leading to software that is actively maintained and is welcoming to new and experienced users. 3) PsychoPy's foundation in the Python programming language integrates it with the outstanding infrastructure and community of the Python ecosystem, allowing PsychoPy to be a pivotal link in a cohesive pipeline of software for carrying out, analysing, and publishing scientific work. 4) PsychoPy's open-source architecture allows for precise understanding of how the software operates, and its free license makes it much simpler to deploy PsychoPy in a variety of environments and be confident of its stability.
- Damien Mannion, Lecturer, UNSW Australia
I have migrated to PsychoPy for all of my experiments and get my students to create experiments using PsychoPy in my psycholinguistics classes. It is the fastest way to get an experiment up and running and despite being fast and easy is still capable of being extended endlessly to achieve pretty much any research goal you might have. I think it's the best experiment software available (at any price) and the fact that it's free is just the icing on the cake.
- Mark Scott, Prof, United Arab Emirates University
We just recently started to use PsychoPy for experiments in developmental psychology, but we have been very impressed so far by its capabilities, pace of development, and the responsiveness of its developers. We will definitely continue to use it for future studies.
Psychopy is a very useful tool. It combines a great experimental control with a gentle learning curve. Its multiplatform capabilities together with its open access approach makes it a great contribution, helping researchers in ways that few other software can. Its impact is more than remarkable. Currently we are changing all of our experimental tasks from other programs to Psychopy and we could not be happier with the results and process. I'd personally recomend Psychopy to any researcher and will use it both as teaching and research tool.
- Joaquín Morís, PhD, University of Barcelona
I intend to make the switch to psychopy from psychtoolbox over the next few years. PsychoPy is definitely the most mature package for conducting psychophysical experiments using Python. The function libraries are impressive and the community is growing. I have started using Python in favour of Matlab for other areas of my work. With PsychoPy's help I hope to be Matlab-free in a few years time!
- Thomas Wallis, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Tübingen
PsychoPy represented a welcome and much needed reprieve for our lab when we heard of it a couple years ago. We used closed source alternatives prior to that point, and we were constantly frustrated by problems with site licenses and proprietary data formats. It's hard to describe how gratifying it was to code a fast, solid experimental paradigm completely in python and then have all our output files be csv's. PsychoPy has only gotten better since then, with the addition of more built-in functions and improvements to the Builder GUI functionality.
One project I helped create involved twenty or more subjects simultaneously performing a delay discounting decision making task while being paired with other subjects from one trial to the next based on religious group status. This was relatively easy to do with PsychoPy due to the flexibility of the software and the ease of including pure python code in the experiment. It would have been much more complicated with other software, if it would have been possible at all (not to mention dealing with program licenses for 20+ machines).
As a side note, the help forum for PsychoPy is one of the best I've been involved with. I've asked several questions, and frequently the developers of PsychoPy themselves have responded quickly and solved my problem. Prior to using PsychoPy, I struggled to find answers to my queries about closed source alternatives, and it was always a frustrating experience. Worse still, I didn't learn anything new, whereas my understanding of experimental methods generally and of python programming in particular has expanded by using PsychoPy. I also frequently see users answer questions posed by people new to the program to help them orient themselves. It's a friendly and helpful community, and unfortunately that's not always the case with this kind of thing!
- Andrew Poppe, PhD Student, University of Minnesota
Psychopy is an attempt to provide a usable psychological presentation suite for experiments developed by non-expert programmers. It has a great tutorial that walks new users through the interface and how to successfully create presentation paradigms. It's open-source and based on a programming platform that is skyrocketing in its adoption.
- Keith McGregor, Assistant Professor, Emory University
I programmed my first experiment using PsychoPy around February 2011. Since then I have basically only used PsychoPy for all the experiments I was responsible for and see no need to change this in the future.
PsychoPy came at the right time for me and (a) is comparatively easy to use because of relying on the great programming language Python, (b) offers a wealth of ever increasing functionality, and (c) hides exactly those technical issues behind a comfortable API that I am not interested in dealing with. Consequently, I can only recommend it to anyone who wants to use free software to program his or her experiments.
- Henrik Singmann, PostDoc, University of Freiburg
PsychoPy is the best software for experiment programming that I've seen. The Builder interface greatly eases the learning so that I can explain the basics for undergrad students in 5 minutes. And the power of Python makes the possibilities for power users virtually unlimited. Its free, fast-developing, and have a wonderful support community.
- Andrey Chetverikov, PhD student, researcher, St. Petersburg State University
I have been using psychopy since 2010 and it has been a great boon for my research. The design of the software library is elegant and intuitive, making it easy to get started, and easy to use, The software is powerful, enabling experiments in which complex stimuli are presented with accurate timing. The user and developer communities are helpful and welcoming to new-comers.
In addition to the effort that has gone into making installation of pyschopy easy and uniform, the implementation of an easy-to-use GUI has made collaborations with colleagues in other institutions a simple matter of sharing code, without needing to worry about complicated operation instructions ("just press the big green 'run' button"!), and without installation hassles.
The use of Python as a basis for the implementation of psychopy promises a bright future for the project and for its increased use in neuroscience and psychology experiments, as the language is rapidly becoming the lingua franca of reproducible computational data analysis in neuroscience and psychology.
- Ariel Rokem, Postdoc, Stanford University
Thank you very much Jonathan Peirce, we are starting to use psychopy instead of E-prime and it's really nice to work with your software. Having everything that we need in your software is amazing, we really appreciate your hard work, its impressive. You are doing lots of people work easier and faster.
Keep working like this, and keep it open source!!
- Dario, Student, Brain House Institute
I remember the days when there was a need to deal with made-up "scripting languages" to implement psychophysical experiments. I remember the waste of time learning these additional tools, I remember the pain associated with the "maintenance" of licenses, I remember the "community" of suffering souls that also could not get things done in reasonable time.
I am so glad that these times are over. Thanks to PsychoPy and thanks to its developers for being a team player in the larger eco-system that is scientific Python software. With PsychoPy I can do simple things in a simple way. At the same time, PsychoPy can channel the combined power of a mind-bending number of specialized Python packages available to be utilized in any experiment with a few lines of code -- in the very language I use to analyze and visualize acquired data.
You won't believe it, unless you try it.
- Michael Hanke, Prof, University of Magdeburg, Germany
PsychoPy is more powerful and more accessible than many proprietary experiment control software. It is one of the best choice.
- Attila Krajcsi, associate professor, Eötvös Loránd University
The psychopy software platform has been integral to my research career. As a vision scientist, it is bar none the best software package I have used. It is accessible and Jonathan Peirce has been exceptionally helpful to researchers getting started coding in Psychopy and Python in general. As a psychophysicist, psychopy offers fine control over stimuli and experimental manipulations. As an fMRI researcher, psychopy offers simple coding of keyboard/button box input, even with serial ports. I am currently working with the code for an eye tracking experiment, and again psychopy is very straightforward. It is easy to install and works across platforms. I have strongly encouraged graduate and undergraduate students I have worked with to learn to program in psychopy. With a little help they find coding experiments not only feasible, but get satisfaction from how quickly they can pick up a new skill.
- Summer Sheremata, postdoctoral researcher, George Washington University
have no idea with coder service, but im feeling quite amazin with builder.
I'm an psychology undergraduate student and studying cognitive science. These days, many researchers who are engaged in "visual working memory" and "conscious perception" domain, it is widely used to measure participants response error with 360' continuous wheel. For example, Zhang & Luck (2008) used 360 degree color wheel with mouse-based response. But as a novice in coding, it's very hard to make it all by myself from the scratch.
- That is, it will be better if PsychoPy Builder have variety of way to get response. Not only ratings, RT.
Thanks for reading
- Hio-Been, Han, Undergraduate student, Yonsei Univ, South Korea
PsychoPy is a revelation! For me, it's the perfect blend of user-friendliness and power/flexibility. I first came across it when I had to write an experiment to be deployed on several student's personal laptops - a mixture of macs and PCs of various kinds. The program I wrote worked perfectly on all of them with zero tweaking necessary - I was astonished! Since then I've been using it for all my new projects (both MRI and behavioural) and have been recommending it to all my collaborators with the intensity of a crazy-eyed zealot. I find the development time for new projects is significantly faster than other packages too. Jon and his other contributors have really done some extraordinary work - long may it continue!
- Matt Wall, fMRI Researcher, Imanova/Imperial College London
I love psychopy! I used it for one previous fMRI experiment and found the language extremely easy to use. Between the solid documentation and the massive online Python community there was no problem that couldn't be solved with a quick web search. I also found it quite nice that there are built in stimulus staircasing functions, and the GUI interface is great for teaching paradigm design to students.
- Micah Allen, Post-doc, UCL
very flexible, light weight, compatible for MAC, Windows, etc..
- Tae Young Lee, MD, Seoul National University Hospital
I have been using Psychopy since October last year and it really helped me a lot with my experiments and made me start learning Python. That was a very good decision because I can now use Psychopy and other Python modules to control the stimulation parameters and multiple hardware parts we have in the lab with great precision. Some experiments I am doing at the moment would not have been possible at all if I could not do that.
I hope Psychopy keeps being improved and maintained because it for sure deserves an important spot as part of the psychophysics toolbox.
Thank you so much and best regards,
- Miguel Fernandes, Postdoc, MPIN