This experiment involves people working in pairs, one the looker and the other the subject. The subject sits with his or her back to the looker, at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) away, and wears a blindfold (or if this is not possible keeps his or her eyes closed). I have found it convenient to use blindfolds of the kind used on airlines.
The looker either looks or does not look at the subject in a series of 20 trials according to a random sequence. The looker sits near the computer screen on which the instruction for each trial will be displayed, and if the instruction says STARE NOW, the looker looks at the back of the subject's neck. If the instructions are DO NOT STARE, the looker looks away and thinks about something else. With some computers, the beginning of the test will be signalled to the subject by means of a sound signal; but if your computer does not make a sound signal you will need to give one by means of a mechanical sound or beep.
Here is a summary of the procedure:
- Fill in the User information (all entries MUST be completed). As part of this registration process there is a sound test. If your computer does not make a sound when you press the test button, you will need to signal the beginning of each trial to the subject by means of a mechanical click or beep.(Note: there may be a delay of several seconds between pressing the sound test button and the beep.)
- Click on the Begin Experiment button
- Follow the Instructions for Staring and/or Not Staring. If you computer does not give a sound signal, signal the beginning of the trial to the subject by means of a mechanical click or beep
- Ask the subject to respond 'Looking' or 'Not looking'. It is best to guess quite quickly, within 5-10 seconds.
- If the subject's response is correct, enter Correct, and if it is incorrect, enter Incorrect.
- You can do the experiment with or without feedback. If you decide to give trial-by-trial feedback to the subject, tell him or her if the guess is right or wrong
- When all 20 trials are complete, submit the data for permanent storage
- You can then either log off, do the test again with the same subject and looker, or switch roles