Incomplete and Garbled Data Files

I’m reviewing the results of an experiment I’ve been running. I have collected data from 52 participants - however, I’ve found that 4 data files are problematic. I’ve attached example data files, and the Zipped project.

I’ve brought all my data into the Data Viewer, and have noticed some strange things have happened to the data files. In all cases, the experiment ended correctly: there’s a ‘thanks’ page at the end of the experiment, and all my participants successfully made it through to that point.

The example ‘fine.txt’ shows a data file that is ok for comparison to the ones below that are not.


  1. Incomplete files.

There should be 24 test trials in each data file, along with 3 training trials. 2/52 data files are missing one test trial each. In each instance, they’re part of the way through the experiment. (See example - incomplete.txt - trial 6 is missing but the rest are there.)

  1. Garbled files

See example - garbled.txt. It looks as though an extra ‘tab’ has been inserted into the datafile somehow, shifting the information around. 2/52 data files are like this - these I can still use as all the test trials have been recorded, but it would be good to know why this has happened.

As you can imagine, this is quite worrying! I’ve been relying on these data - it looks as though I’m going to have to re-collect the two incomplete data sets.

Please can someone advise what’s happened here, and how I can prevent it from happening in future?

fine.txt (4.08 KB)

incomplete.txt (4.86 KB)

garbled.txt (4.44 KB) (9.6 MB)

What is happening with the “garble” file is the participants are pressing the return button and SuperLab is then adding the extra line. I logged the issue in our internal case tracking system so that it can be addressed.

Regarding the “incomplete” file, is it always the same trial? Or are they different trials but displayed around the same time of the experiment?

Ah! Yes, that would make sense. I did use a keyboard mask and directed participants to only use the keys that I indicated, but I guess some people must have slipped.

It doesn’t appear to be, no - the order is randomised.

We have never had a problem with anyone reporting missing data. Do you think someone could have accidentally unchecked one of your trials? We do have a Lock feature under the Experiment menu within SuperLab.