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The Staircase Procedure Toolkit: Psychophysical Detection Threshold Experiments Made Easy

André Zenner; Kristin Ullmann; Chiara Karr; Oscar Ariza; Antonio Krüger
In: Proceedings of the 29th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology. ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST-2023), October 9-11, Christchurch, New Zealand, VRST '23, ISBN 9798400703287, Association for Computing Machinery, 10/2023.


We propose a novel open-source software toolkit to support researchers in the domains of human-computer interaction (HCI) and virtual reality (VR) in conducting psychophysical experiments. Our toolkit is designed to work with the widely-used Unity engine and is implemented in C# and Python. With the toolkit, researchers can easily set up, run, and analyze experiments to find perceptual detection thresholds using the adaptive weighted up/down method, also known as the staircase procedure. Besides being straightforward to integrate in Unity projects, the toolkit automatically stores experiment results, features a live plotter that visualizes answers in real time, and offers scripts that help researchers analyze the gathered data using statistical tests.

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