ESP, the Experience Sampling Program, is a FREE, open-source software package for running questionnaires, surveys, or experiments on a Palm Pilot or compatible handheld computer.
In more scientific terms, ESP conducts experiments by experience sampling: asking participants about their experiences throughout the day. You choose the questions to ask, and the times of day to ask them, and ESP does the rest.
ESP asks questions to people, records the answers, and measures how long it took them to respond. In more scientific terms, ESP presents stimuli and measures reaction times.
ESP can ask questions in a fixed order, or in random order. They can appear at fixed times, random times, or on demand. When ESP is done, you can download the collected data to your PC and analyze it with statistics programs (SAS, SPSS, etc.) or any other program that can read simple textual data.
See the full documentation (also available in Adobe PDF format) for more details.
Anyone who can use a PC (Windows or Linux) and a Palm Pilot can use ESP. Create your questionnaire or experiment using our PC application ESP Desktop, download it to your fleet of Palms with the push of a button (or three), and distribute them to your participants. Afterward, use ESP Desktop to collect the data for analysis.
The full documentation (also available in Adobe PDF format) explains all the prerequisites; but in a nutshell, you'll need:
ESP is completely free, thanks to generous support from the National Science Foundation. (So if you live in the United States, your tax dollars helped pay for it.) It was created for scientific research, but anyone is free to use it.
ESP comes with full source code so any computer programmer can modify it. (You don't need to be a programmer to create experiments, just if you want to change the internals of how it works.)
ESP is licensed under the well-known GNU Public License (GPL). This means you can freely copy and share ESP, as long as you don't prevent anyone else from copying and sharing it.
You may download it from this web site.
No official support, but there's a community of users. Learn more.
Read the full documentation (also available in Adobe PDF format).