Dismal: A spreadsheet for sequential data analysis and HCI experimentation

Frank E. Ritter, Alexander B. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Dismal is a spreadsheet that works within GNU Emacs, a widely available programmable editor. Dismal has three features of particular interest to those who study behavior: (1) the ability to manipulate and align sequential data, (2) an open architecture that allows users to expand it to meet their particular needs, and (3) an instrumented and accessible interface for studies of human-computer interaction (HCI). Example uses of each of these capabilities are provided, including cognitive models that have had their sequential behavior aligned with subject's protocols, extensions useful for teaching and doing HCI design, and studies in which keystroke logs from the timing package in Dismal have been used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalBehavior research methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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