This is a page about PsyScript 2.  PsyScript 3 has since been introduced and PsyScript 2 should not be used for new experiments.  We do not expect to do any further work to update or improve PsyScript 2.  This page and the ability to download PsyScript 2 are being retained only because PsyScript is still useful for some purposes:

  • Attempts to perfectly reproduce experiments carried out using PsyScript 2
  • Experiments which require direct communication with digital IO cards and Arduino devices

If your experiment doesn't involve either of the above please use PsyScript 3 instead.


PsyScript 2 is a fully-fledged scriptable experiment generator. It can

  • present pictures, sounds and QuickTime movies
  • accept feedback from the subject via
    • keys on the keyboard
    • clicks on images
    • buttons on an Apple Remote and
    • the position of a sliding control
  • communicate with digital input/output cards, Arduino boards, and anything else that can be addressed via a serial port.

PsyScript's scripting language provides ways of handling repetition, procedures and tables of stimuli in fixed or random orders. It allows for conditional execution depending on the subject's responses so that, for example, a correct response, an incorrect response, and no response at all can lead to three different next steps.

The experimenter can specify which information should be logged and the log can be produced in formats suitable for pasting or reading into the various spreadsheet and statistical analysis programs.


I'm reminding you that this is PsyScript version 2, an obsolete version of PsyScript only intended to allow reproduction of earlier experiments.  If you want to develop a new PsyScript experiment, you should be downloading PsyScript 3 instead.

Download PsyScript version 2.3.0: PsyScript. Included in the download are example scripts and stimuli and tutorial files. The tutorials are the best introduction to how to use PsyScript 2.

Citation Format

To cite PsyScript in APA style, use text like the following, replacing the years, dates and version numbers as appropriate.

Slavin, S. (2003-2014). PsyScript (Version 3.2.1) [Computer software].
	Lancaster University.  Retrieved March 15, 2013.
	Available from

To find out which version you used for your experiment, run that copy of PsyScript, then choose the 'About PsyScript' item from the PsyScript menu.

Change history

2010/08/06 2.3.0 Introduced the serial communications commands, the 'login' command and the 'debuglog' command for output to STDERR. Some small updates and improvements to the documentation.
2009/09/28 2.2.0 Tutorials updated a lot to reflect changes.
2009/08/03 2.2.0 New commands, bug fixes, syntax-check improvements. See online help.
2009/06/12 2.1.2 Bugfix: Digital Input/Output bugfix including a syntax change. A few other minor bug-fixes.
2007/02/20 2.1.1 Oops. QuickTime movies weren't playing all the way to the end under some conditions.
2007/02/14 2.1.0 Added variants of 'play sound' and 'play movie' that continue with the script immediately.
2006/06/14 2.0.1 Bugfix: pauses were interpreting wait-times as integers. Thanks to R. Thomaschke for reporting the bug.
2006/04/06 2.0 Conversion of all code from AppleScript Studio to Objective-C now complete. Digital IO works.
2006/03/13 1.7 Digital IO is disabled: contact author for digital IO beta-test version.
2005/11/?? 1.6 Various commands added including digital IO using National Instruments DIO cards.
2005/08/20 1.5 Large number of bugs fixed. Now usable without help from the author.
2004/??/?? 1.1 Runtime engine re-written in Objective-C, therefore faster and with more accurate timing.
2003/??/?? 1.0 Initial AppleScript Studio release for in-house use only


This application was originally written to work under OS X 10.4.0. The current version was tested under OS X 10.5.7 to OS X 10.7.3.

Any hardware which runs the above operating system should be able to run this application.


The software is not being developed further or supported at the current time.

Legal section

  • This application and supporting documentation are copyright ©2002 to 2012 Lancaster University.
  • All rights over this application and supporting documentation are retained by Lancaster University. The University reserves the right to change the conditions of licensing at any time.
  • License to use this application is currently being offered free of charge to non-profit, non-commercial organisations. There are no current plans to change this. If your organisation is not both non-profit and non-commercial, contact the Psychology Department, Lancaster University for licensing information.
  • This application is provided as is, with no warranty, assurances, or liability accepted or admitted.
  • You may distribute or supply this application, but only if it's accompanied by all materials which are included in the downloadable package on its home page.
  • You may not charge a fee or any equivalent for such distribution or supply, nor may you include any part of the distribution as part of any product or service for which you charge a fee or any equivalent.
  • Simon Slavin has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this application and its documentation.