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Experiment Author: Psychology Software Tools, Inc.
The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) measures attention, working memory, and visual processing by having participants categorize cards.
In the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (Grant and Berg, 1948), participants categorize cards according to different rules. Cards can be categorized based on the color of the symbols, number of symbols, or the shape of the symbols on the cards. This task measures how well people adapt to changing rules.
The E-Prime version of this task includes practice trials which acclimate the participant on how to sort the cards. After the practice trials, the real trials begin where participants sort 30 trials based on the changing categorization criteria (i.e., color, number, or shape of symbols). The categorization rule is selected randomly and changes after 10 cards. The participant needs to adapt to the changing rules of categorization.
At the conclusion of the task, the number of trials, number of correct responses, and percentage of correct responses is shown.
In addition, the Stimulus object that presents the cards logs the response, response accuracy, and response time. The AccuracyCheck Inline classifies the type of error for the current trial. The PerseverativeError attribute logs a '1' if the response is a perseverative error; otherwise (for errors that are not perseverative errors and for correct responses), the PerseverativeError attribute logs a '0'. Similarly, the NonPerseverativeError attribute logs a '1' for any NonPerseverative Error; otherwise the NonPerseverativeError attribute logs a '0'.
In this task, errors are classified as perseverative when they occur in the second or third block after a rule change has occurred. Specifically, errors on the second trial of the block after the rule changes and errors on all consecutive trials in the block after the first perseverative error until a correct response occurs are perseverative errors. For example, if the participant makes an error on the second and third trial of the third block and then makes a correct response, then the experiment sets the PerseverativeError attribute to '1' for the second and third trials and to a '0' for the fourth trial that was answered correctly. The remaining six trials in the block will log a '0' for the PerseverativeError attribute, regardless of whether or not they are answered correctly.
Errors are classified as non-perseverative in all of the following situations: any trial in Block #1, on the first trial of Blocks 2 and 3, and after a correct response that follows one or more perseverative errors.
Other versions of the Wisconsin Card Sort Task perform more complex assessments of errors, such as assessing if the first erroneous response after a rule change would have been a correct response for the prior classification rule. This version of the task does not perform these types of error assessments.
NOTE: To run the experiment, ensure that the Resource folder is at the same level as the .es3 file.
Grant, D. A., & Berg, E. (1948). A behavioral analysis of degree of reinforcement and ease of shifting to new responses in Weigl-type card-sorting problem. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38, 404-411.