The goal of this task is to compare the ability to flexibly switch between decision rules. Participants must choose the next stimulus based on a rule that either rotates consistently between two rules, consistently between three rules, or inconsistently between three rules.
Results of Anderson et al (2012) showed that the random rule switching condition appeared fairly resistent to practice across 8-12 sessions.
 Data Output
Switcher produces two output files, the switch-X.csv file contains a data record from each trial, and the switch-summary.csv file contains a line for every testing round. They appear below:
gSubNum,timestamp,testtype,numcues,numerr,matchlast,matchany,tooslow,waittime,perftime,medtime 02,Tue Mar 26 11:29:39 2013,1,12,0,0,0,9,2776,32739,2336.5 02,Tue Mar 26 11:30:20 2013,1,12,0,0,0,5,16053,24913,1985.5 02,Tue Mar 26 11:31:04 2013,1,12,0,0,0,9,13954,30208,2227
- testtiype is the main IV of interest, where the different codes indicate the different rounds of the test (1=2-feature, 2=3-feature, 3=3-feature random)
- numcues tells you how many stimuli were on the screen
- numerr is how many errors were made
- matchlast is how many times the error matched the previous feature
- matchany is how many times the error matched on any feature
- tooslow is how often the response was
- waittime is how long they took before making their first move.
- perftime is how long they took once they made their first move to complete the round
- medtime is the median RT in ms for each response (i.e., after the first)
Of greatest interest are two DVS: perftime and numerr (how long they took and how many mistakes they made. Matchlast records how many times did an error match the previous rule, which is sort of like a perseveration error found in many tasks.
Anderson, K., Deane, K., Lindley, D., Loucks, B., & Veach, E. (2012). PEBL Technical Report Series [On-line], #2011-01. The effects of time of day and practice on cognitive abilities: The PEBL Tower of London, Trail-making, and Switcher tasks Retrieved from http://sites.google.com/site/pebltechnicalreports/home/2012/pebl-technical-report-2012-04.
 To Cite
Mueller, S. T. (2013). The PEBL Switcher Task [software]. Downloaded from http://pebl.sourceforge.net