NULL results in the data

PennController for IBEX Forums FAQ / Tips NULL results in the data

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  • #8156

    Hi, Jeremy

    Right now, I am working with a vowel-figure matching experiment, and I have multiple questions about the technical issues related to it:

    1) Even though all the data I need for the experiment are collected, the very last columns show the result NULL every time. Why? As mentioned earlier, I have collected all the data I need, and I see the NULL column as redundant, but I am afraid I might have missed some important data…

    2) What is the purpose of the “buffer” logged in the audio column of my results? Is it necessary to log it, or is it redundant (the focus of my experiment is the participants’ match between the figure and the sound)?

    3) Sometimes, when I probably coded the way I am supposed to do (I was following the basic and advanced tutorial while making this experiment), whenever I opened the experiment in a new tab, it ignored my trials. Why?

    4) Why do I get “ERROR: There must be some items in the running order!” whenever I make a mistake in coding? It is not about getting informed by it, but about the fact that this error message does not specify exactly which error you make, which makes it difficult to find out which problem has to be solved and how.

    Here is the link to the experiment:

    Best regards,


    Hello Meri,

    I was wondering if you found a solution to the first problem that you mentioned, regarding “NULL” at results’ columns.

    Many thanks in advance!

    update: I found your other post with the answer to it.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by ElRk.

    Hi Meri,

    I apologize, I seem to have missed your initial message. Let me answer the last three, unanswered questions:

    2) The “buffer” lines report when the audio started the play but had to pause because not enough data had been downloaded to play fully. This can be pretty useful to determine whether participants had a smooth playback experience, as some experimental designs require time-sensitive measures

    3) This is a problem with how the farm saves edits your bring to a file. When this happens, the solution is to create a new file, paste the code you have in the new file, and then delete the original file, to force the farm to take the latest updates into account

    4) This error comes from the original IBEX and is pretty generic. It tends to happen when there is a syntax error in the script and the items variable fails to be created as a result. The bug I mention in #3 makes it more likely to occur, especially if the farm saved your script as you were typing and therefore stored an incomplete code


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