Cognition vs. E-Prime Desktop Application: A Comprehensive Comparison

Experiment design comparison illustration

Running online experiments is a complex undertaking. It requires us to precisely design, create, and manage behavior and cognitive tasks. As researchers, we constantly look for tools to simplify this process. In this article, we present a comparison between and the E-Prime Desktop Application. Our aim is to provide you the required details to make an informed choice between the two, answering questions related to cost, learning curve, flexibility, and community support.

Cost Comparison

E-Prime has different pricing options, with the cost of a single-user license being around $995 (E-Prime 3.0 Professional). Cognition, on the other hand, follows the 'freemium' pricing model. Running experiments of moderate complexity is totally free and you only pay for advanced features and larger sample sizes.

Learning Curve Comparison

E-Prime requires familiarity with scripting languages like E-Prime script or Python, increasing the learning curving for many beginner and even intermediate-level researchers. In contrast, Cognition leverages jspsych, a JavaScript library designed for this very purpose. Therefore, cognitive experiment creation becomes more accessible, intuitive, and straightforward, reducing the learning curve significantly.

Flexibility Comparison

While E-Prime does offer a range of advanced features, it may exhibit a lack in flexibility compared to Cognition when it comes to online and remote studies, particularly those involving a wide array of behavioral experiments. Further, Cognition's integration with the JsPsych framework makes it more adaptable to various experimental scenarios.

Community Comparison

The E-Prime community is vast and has been around for a significant period of time. However, Cognition is rapidly growing its user-base and community, fostering a rich environment for knowledge exchange and troubleshooting. It provides a platform where researchers can collaborate and provide unique insights to each other.

Both Cognition and E-Prime Desktop Application are powerful tools for psychological research, with their strengths and limitations. In the end, the choice depends on your specific requirements, constraints, and comfort level.

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