Adobe Flash as a medium for online experimentation: a test of reaction time measurement capabilities

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Reimers, Stian ; Stewart, Neil (2007)

Adobe Flash can be used to run complex psychological experiments over the Web. We examined the reliability of using Flash to measure reaction times (RTs) using a simple binary-choice task implemented both in Flash and in a Linux-based system known to record RTs with millisecond accuracy. Twenty-four participants were tested in the laboratory using both implementations; they also completed the Flash version on computers of their own choice outside the lab. RTs from the trials run on Flash outside the lab were approximately 20 msec slower than those from trials run on Flash in the lab, which in turn were approximately 10 msec slower than RTs from the trials run on the Linux-based system (baseline condition). RT SDs were similar in all conditions, suggesting that although Flash may overestimate RTs slightly, it does not appear to add significant noise to the data recorded.
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