Are you wearing earphones?

An experiment flow to ask participants to fetch and wear earphones or headphones, and to verify whether they are likely to be wearing them. Browser autoplay is also checked. Ideally, to be implemented before a Gorilla experiment with auditory stimuli and in which the experimenter would like her participants to wear headphones/earphones. The task used to check if headphones/earphones are worn is not correct 100% of the times. It can signals that a participant is not wearing headphones/earphones even if they are, and viceversa. Especially, it was noticed that it may give false positives (say they wear them when it's not the case) with very good external speakers and false negatives (say they are not wearing them when they instead are) with Bluetooth-connected devices.

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Participants are asked to adjust their volume to a comfortable level while listening to a noise. Then, they are instructed to listen to the 3 tones and declare which was the quietest when prompted to do so. This repeats 6 times and performance is stored into embedded data.

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Woods et al., 2017 in Attention, Perception and Psychophysics.


Participants are asked to listen to a word which they can play as many times as they want. They are asked to adjust the volume so that they can ear the word comfortably, and they have to type the word down. The task does not advance to the next screen until the word typed is correct. As soon as they write the correct response, they can proceed to the next screen, in which they are warned that the task will try to autoplay some words that they have to type down. As they move forward, for three times they hear a word that they have to type. They have no feedback for correct/incorrect entries and they advance to the next word whatsoever. They have to type correctly at least 2 words, in order not to be rejected.

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Participants are first welcomed and asked whether they can fetch and wear a pair of headphones/earphones. If the answer is "no", a branch node leads them to a short message and then to a rejection node. If it is "yes", the branch leads them to the autoplay check, "audioCheck" task. This tasks participants to write down some words, that are autoplayed by their browser. This allows to check if the autoplay work correctly. Again participants either move on to the next task, or are rejected. Then they go through the "headphones_screening" task, which checks if they are wearing headphones/earphones exploting phase cancellation that takes instead place when speakers are used. A reference for this task can be found in the references to these materials and to the "headphones_screenining" task.

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A yes/no question that enquires whether participants can fetch a pair of earphones/headphones and wear them throughout the experiment. Response is collected as embedded data.

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A short message to warn the participant that, unfortunately, she was rejected because our task indicates that she was not wearing headphones or earphones.

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A short message to warn the participant that, unfortunately, she was rejected because she could not hear the auditory stimuli properly.

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Preferred Citation Woods et al., 2017 in Attention, Perception and Psychophysics.
Conducted at RWTH Aachen University
Published on 25 January 2021
Corresponding author Elena Benini PhD Student
RWTH Aachen