I'm sifting through the data from a recent online experiment and I noticed something odd. My experiment was run using a batched file which started with a consent block followed by a demographics block, looking like this:
/ subjects=(1 of 1)
/ groupassignment = subjectnumber
Subject number was set to be assigned in ascending order. Now, the first question in the demographics block was age and it was gated to accept only responses within a certain range (using /mask). As we had mentioned the age limitation in our online recruiting, we expected participants outside that range to quit. Although I had posted that participants could quit the experiment using Ctrl + Q at any time, some participants who were outside of the desired age range had forgotten or skipped those instructions and so quit the experiment using task manager or by rebooting.
I would have expected the subject ids assigned to these people to be associated with no data or maybe just a line with the unacceptable response, which was the case in the data file generated by the demographics block. However, the data file for the main experiment also contained full datasets associated with these ids. Does anyone have any ideas why this might be? To me, it looks almost as though Inquisit assigned the subject number twice, with the initial assignment producing the data for the demographics block and the second assignment producing no data in that block, but otherwise producing data as normal in the main experiment. Is this possible? If so, is there any way to recover the demographic data for the second assignment of the subject id? Unfortunately, this is a fairly serious issue, as I cannot identify the Prolific codes of those second assignments and therefore cannot pay them. Would appreciate any advice! I can post code and datasets if needed.