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Experiment Author: David Frank, University of Texas A&M - Commerce
Due to the large file sizes, download both zip files, then combine all files into a single folder. Any subject number will work. Any counterbalance (CB) value between 1 and 5 will work. The counterbalance value changes the order of the stimuli (game arrangements) within the experiment. At the screen that asks you to put on your headphones, press "P" to proceed. At the blue screen at the end of the program press "Q" to quit.
WARNING: This program must be run at a resolution of 1920 X 1080 to display the stimuli properly.
This program is a tower defense game created for research purposes. The game was created to test the theoretical dimensions of difficulty (Hoffman et al, 2014). These features include static vs dynamic, discrete vs continuous, sequential vs simultaneous, separable vs interactive, and Ackerman's (1994) consistent vs variable.
This version is the dynamic version--the stimuli are constantly changing and moving. It is also discrete (stimuli fall into just a few categories), sequential (participants take turns collecting energy and fighting zombies but never do both at the same time), separable (the two processes, moving and planting, occur with only weak interactions) and consistent (the rules for the task remain the same throughout). This version is designed to be compared to our "baseline" version that is identical, except that it is static (turn based). This allowed us (Macnamara & Frank, 2018) to determine how the dynamic nature of task increases difficulty and slows learning. (Similarly, we have created version that differ based on the other dimensions of difficulty: continuous, simultaneous, interactive, and variable).
The program also includes task instructions and a post-task questionnaire.
NOTE: Author has obtained permission from Electronic Arts to use their images for the purposes of research and publication.