Longitudinal - use participants previous answers

On Pavlovia, is there a way to access participants’ responses from a previous session? I want participants to do a first session and then a second session. In the second session, I want to show them something that they had entered in the first session. Is this possible?

Hi @JacquieS, yes you can use the #shelf feature of pavlovia, see here: Using the Shelf for Multi-session testing, Counterbalancing and more online — PsychoPy v2022.2.4

It’s not quite as simple as accessing the previously recorded data, but you can specifically write something to a permanent record in the first session that should be accessible in the second session.

Thanks, that looks great, I had not seen ‘shelf’ before.
Another idea I just had browsing the forum is that, if I time my experiment well, I could write a .csv file with the information across all participants and the matching prolific IDs. And that could then in the next session be read out by capturing participants’ prolific ID. Are there any potential security concerns with this? E.g. could participants access the .csv file easily (or ‘easier’ than with shelf)?

I am not sure, but I think the csv strategy does only work offline. I don’t think you can read/write arbitrary files on the server. Otherwise, the shelf would not have had any purpose and it’s a quite new feature. Can you link the posts where this strategy is discussed?

With regard to security, I guess the shelf is as secure as the data files of your participants. But that’s just what I suspect.

Sorry, yes, this would be offline: They do session 1, I extract their data, make the CSV file and then say a week later they do session 2, for which I create a new experiment with the CSV file as an input.

Ok, if the sessions are this neatly separated in time then it could also work for an online study. But tbh, using the shelf is still simpler, because you don’t have to program the reading of the CSV file and so on, which is not super straightforward.