Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the more common questions we get about Paradigm and Paradigm Elements. If you have a question not answered here please use our question submission form.


  • Does Paradigm run on Macs?
  • The Paradigm experiment builder and desktop runtime are PC only. Paradigm also supports running experiments on iPhone and iPad devices via our Paradigm Mobile app but you still must build your experiment on a PC. Paradigm does not support OS X but you can use Boot Camp to run Windows on your Mac and run Paradigm from there.

  • How should I cite Paradigm?
  • We prefer the website format:

    MLA Style:
    "Paradigm Stimulus Presentation", Perception Research Systems, 2007. Web. [Date of Access].

    APA Style:
    Perception Research Systems. 2007. Paradigm Stimulus Presentation,
    Retrieved from

  • Is support free?
  • Yes. Paradigm users get free technical support directly from the programmers at PRS. If you have a question, please use our question submission form. Ask a question>

  • Why isn't there a user forum?
  • Because user forums do not allow us to provide the high level of support we want to give our customers. Our support "calls" are highly interactive and we'll typically want to test your experiment in-house to ensure it's working properly. We will often invite you to share a Dropbox with us to make collaboration easier (for uploading complete experiments with stimuli) and give you the option of speaking to us via web conference so we can demonstrate a particular feature or solution live. All of this is impossible to do through a web forum.

  • Can I run experiments without a license?
  • Yes. A license is only needed to build experiments. You can use Paradigm Player and Paradigm Mobile to run experiments without a license.

  • Are discounts available for students?
  • Yes. Student Web licenses are available for $99.95 and are limited to two years. Student licenses must be purchased with a credit card and a digital copy of your student ID must be submitted with the order. Order now >>

  • Can I move my license around?
  • Yes. For Standard Licenses, the license follows the USB key not the computer. You can install Paradigm in as many places as you wish, as long as your USB license is connected Paradigm will run in licensed mode. Paradigm Student Web Licenses are also able to move easily. Simply log-out on your current Paradigm computer and log back in on another computer.

  • Why isn't Paradigm "Open Source"?
  • Paradigm isn't open source because it's a very large program and it would be difficult for us to properly manage it as an open source project. If what you are really asking is "Why isn't Paradigm free?" that's a different question.

    First, please realize that all of the free stimulus presentation software available is being developed by tenured faculty or graduate students. For them it's a hobby subsidized by their universities. Paradigm is our full-time job so we have to charge for it. However it's important to remember that we are not Apple or Facebook but instead the software equivalent of the coffee shop down the street or the restaurant around the corner. We are a "local" small business and we hope you will be just as enthusiastic about supporting us as you would any other local shop in your neighborhood.

    Second, charging allows us to provide you with many services and features you simply cannot get from "open source" alternatives including: frequent backwards-compatible updates, fanatical one-on-one support and cutting-edge features like E-Consent, E-mail Results, mobile experiments, drag and drop EEG/TMS triggers, Dropbox integration, and Paradigm Player.

    We know that budgets are tight but consider that stimulus presentation software sits at the heart of your lab. It has an enourmous impact on the quality of your data and the ease with which that data can be collected. This is one area of your research where it's worthwhile to make an investment in the best tool available. Paradigm is better and it's worth it.

  • Is the demo version of Paradigm different from the licensed version?
  • No. All of Paradigm's features are available in demo mode. When you buy a license you will not have to reinstall Paradigm from a disc or change your experiments in any way.

  • How can I get Paradigm to e-mail results files to me?
  • Just add a Send Results event to the end of your experiment timeline and specify your e-mail address in its event properties. See Paradigm Help in Paradigm's "Help" menu for more details.

  • Why won't my movies play?
  • The most common reason for movies failing to play in Paradigm is a missing codec. Codecs are small pieces of software that Paradigm uses to render your movie file. Paradigm relies on Windows to provide codecs for it to use and if the codec your movie file needs is missing it will not play. The easiest way to fix this problem is to download a "codec pack" that installs a large number of codecs on your computer. A codec pack will typically include your missing codec. We recommend you start by installing the following "K-Lite Standard" codec pack:

    Download K-Lite Codec Pack

    We'd also like to note that just because a movie plays in Window's Media Player or another movie player does not mean it will play in Paradigm (without the proper codec). Paradigm uses a different movie playback system than most "media players" due to its timing accuracy requirements.

  • What are the recommended hardware specs for Paradigm?
  • Paradigm Desktop and Paradigm Player:

    1. 1.2 Ghz (or greater) Intel Core i3/i5/i7 or Xeon Processor.
    2. 1 GB RAM (2 GB for video presentation).
    3. NVIDIA Quadro or GeForce Series Graphics Card.
    4. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Rx or X-Fi XtremeGamer (if available)
    5. Windows 7/8/8.1/10

    Paradigm Mobile:

    1. iOS 7/8
    2. iPhone 5 or newer
    3. iPad 2/Air/Mini

  • Does Paradigm run on Windows 10?
  • Yes. Early timing tests indicate temporal accuracy is equivalent to Windows 8.1 however we have yet to run tests on a wide range of hardware so your results may differ.

  • What type of button boxes can I use with Paradigm?
  • Paradigm supports button boxes from Cedrus, PST Serial Response Box (not Chronos), fORP and can be used with most custom button boxes as well as long as they send a unique serial port pin combination/value for each button.

Paradigm E-Consent™

Paradigm Mobile™

Paradigm Player™

Paradigm Student Web Licensing

  • How does Paradigm Student Web Licensing work?
  • Paradigm Student Web Licensing allows qualified students to use a fully-featured version of Paradigm for two years for $99.95 (US). Student licenses require that a valid login e-mail be given at the time of purchase. Learn more here >>

  • Is support available for student licenses?
  • Yes but keep in mind the spirit of student pricing is that it enables students to learn about experiment design and development through Paradigm. It would miss the point entirely if we were to build a substantial part of a student's experiment for them. As such we may refuse to continue to provide support to a student license holder if we feel that we are doing all the work.

  • Can student licenses be renewed?
  • No. Once the two year time limit has expired you must purchase a standard license.

  • Does Student Web Licensing work with Paradigm Elements products?
  • No. We do not offer student web licenses for Paradigm Elements products. Paradigm Elements customers must purchase (or have already purchased) a Standard License.

Paradigm Elements™ (EEG/EMG/TMS and eye tracker integration)