Counterbalancing and Design of Experiments

Imagine we are interested in an experiment to see the influence of processing fluency on judgments of category typicality for various category exemplars. Fluency is a general sense of familiarity with something that makes cognition a little easier sometimes. We will manipulate fluency using different fonts: regular fonts, and weird fonts like ComicSans or other harder to read fonts. We will have people read the name of the category member and then rate how typical on a scale of 1-7 the category member is. In addition, we are interested if this affects different categories in different ways so will plan to compared animals and artifact (tools) categories.

I'd like your group to try to design an experiment to test this idea. Keep in mind the following issues.

  1. Is the design within subject or between subject? It's up to you but design the form you'd like to use.
  2. What are the experimental factors?
  3. What are the levels of the factors?
  4. What is the dependent measure(s)?
  5. Create a list of ten stimuli that go in each cell.
  6. What possible stimulus factors need to be counterbalanced?
  7. Imagine we aim to collect data from 10 subjects per condition or cell (a very small number). Determine which condition each of the subjects will be assigned to (either as a table in Excel or as a written procedure).

Please answer the following questions and email the results to Please remember to include the letter 'lhc' in the subject line.