self-paced reading: why so slow?

I’m trying to create an experiment that uses self-paced reading on a Mac in 4.0.7. Each stimulus is a brief story about 6-7 sentences long (60-100 words), and I am presenting the stories clause-by-clause (i.e., there are around 10 segments in each story).

However, this is going incredibly slowly, because each time I try to open any of the self-paced Events, it takes 20-30 seconds for the little beachball to stop spinning until I can do anything. Since I am going back and forth between events to modify versions, etc., this is taking a lot of time! The same problem occurs when I go to run the experiment… the beachball spins forever before the experiment begins.

Playing around with it, I noticed that if I change the sentence-long segments down to single words, then the problem seems to go away (i.e., I can start clicking on things immediately). Is there a problem in self-paced reading with having segments that are longer than a word?

I just tried to replicate the problem, and indeed there is a slowdown with long segments. We weren’t aware of it and I’ve just opened a bug report in our internal case tracking system. Unfortunately, I cannot give a date on a possible fix.

Thanks for the reply! At least i know that it’s not just me… I hope that you are able to identify the problem.

Slow on startup

I’ve experienced similar slowdown on startup with 4.07 (OS X) and I am not using segments or self-paced reading. When I go to run the program, once I have entered the participant number and group selection, it can take up to five minutes for the save-as file screen to appear. After that, the experiment seems to run without problems.

Is this simply due to having a large number of trials/participant groups in the experiment?

Most likely.