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Experimental materials for investigating mentalizing and pragmatic inference

This repository contains the JsPsych code to run the online experiments described in Trott and Bergen (Discourse Processes, to appear).

Specifically, the code in experiment2.html corresponds to the protocol for Experiment 1 (minus the SST) and Experiment 2, and experiment3.html corresponds to the protocol for Experiment 3. To run Experiment 1 without the SST, simply take out the code pushing those trial blocks onto the timeline.


The code assumes that JsPsych (found here) has been downloaded and is located in the same directory as the experimental code.

Additionally, this code was written with version 5.0.3 of JsPsych in mind (there may be incompatibilities with the newest version).

Finally, there are a couple of path/file-dependent functions:

Saving the data

Attached is a .php script (save_data.php) which can be used to save the data from the experiment onto a server. Replace {INTENDED_FILEPATH} with the path you want to use:

$filename = "my_server/data".$_POST['filename'];

Consent page

There is also an .html page, consent.html, which embeds a consent form in the web browser (and is then referenced by the main experiment script), allowing participants to explicitly mark their consent to the experiment. Replace {CONSENT_FILE.pdf} with the path to the appropriate consent file, e.g.

<embed src="lab_consent_file.pdf" width="800px" height="1100px" />

Relevant variables

Participants are randomly assigned to one of two lists (group1 or group2), coded in the condition variable.

Participants are also randomly assigned a subject_id (variable name), and a survey_code (variable name).

The critical stimuli in the indirect requests task are coded according to their stimulus type as belief or no_belief (corresponding to Speaker Aware and Speaker Unaware from the paper, respectively).

Answers to the Short Story Task (SST) are coded as sst (for the stimType variable).

Answers to the preliminary SST questions are coded as sst_general (for the stimType variable).

The number of a given item is coded as stimNum.

Information about a participant's gender and whether they are a native English speaker is coded as demographic1 in the stimType variable.

Finally, information about a participant's age and what they thought the experiment was about is coded as demographic2 in the stimType variable.

Differences between experiments

The only difference between Experiment 2 and Experiment 3, as described in Trott and Bergen (2018), is the target question: in Experiment 2, participants are asked to make a paragraph judgment, and in Experiment 3, they explicitly indicate whether they thought the speaker was making a request.


For questions, please contact Sean Trott at sttrott (at) ucsd dot edu.


JsPsych code to run online experiments described in Trott and Bergen (2018).



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