The final exam will be cumulative, and will count for twice the value of a quiz. On the final, you will definitely be required to a) critique a proposed research project, identifying flaws and confounds, and b) perform a two-way between-subject Analysis of Variance, using the method discussed in this class, without notes. Other sections will also be included - examples of previous years' finals are on reserve in the library.
Homework will be assigned almost every class including quiz classes, usually to be turned in the next class. Each homework is worth up to five points, minus one for each class session that it is late. The BEST twenty of the other homeworks will be added for your homework score; count on being able to skip (or drop) 3 assignments. Home-works should ordinarily be typed or word-processed; an exception is made for statistical homeworks. Illegible homework will not be graded.
One major homework will be the conduct of an experiment on November 17. Students will work in teams of two or three, and the other students in the class will serve as subjects. The experiments will be designed by the team based on a review of the recent literature on a topic of the students' choosing. More detail is provided on p. 3. The final product will be an APA-style research report to be submitted on December 6.
Finally, there is a score for class participation. Each student is expected to be ready to discuss assigned readings. As I will explain, each student will also be required to serve as "discussion leader" at least twice. Finally, teams will present their results to the class on one of the last days of the semester, and both team members must share in the presentation. Each student must ask at least one substantive question of his or her classmates during these presentations.
Thus, your final grade is the combination of nine items: Quiz 3 + 4 quizzes + 2*(final exam) + homeworks*1.5 + APA paper + participation/2.
There is no specific grade for attendance, but prompt attendance at each class is highly recommended. The quizzes tend to be fairly comprehensive, and each class that is missed is equivalent to a quarter of the material for the quiz on which you have less chance of success. In my experience, class attendance is a very good predictor of the final grade in the course.
There are three required texts:
Many of the class discussions will center around chapters in Gilovich, so please read this text promptly. Some of your homeworks will be to turn in a typed sheet with three questions you have about the assigned chapter. The questions should be of a challenging nature, such as objections you have to Gilovich's argument or new applications; they are not meant to be suggested essay questions; see the example on p. 4. Only students who have turned in their questions will be eligible to serve as spokesperson that morning.
Course Objectives: By the end of this class, the student should be able to:
Illusions Short-term Memory Learning a concept or skill Motor skill Eyewitness memory Mental imagery Divided attention Problem solving Gambling Feedback Cooperation Dominant hand-vs-Nondominant hand Perceptual acuity Mathematical ability
1. Your first step is to decide on your teams and reserve your general topic for your experiment; do this by Class 3. Start now.
2. Second, you and your teammate(s) will find a "keystone" article in the library that represents the state of the art in that area. This article must be recent (no more than four years old) and in a peer-reviewed journal (not a magazine). It must describe at least one original experiment (not a review or essay). It cannot be from
3. Next, you and your teammates will thoroughly explore the literature on your chosen topic, using PsychLIT and the reference list and introduction of your own article. Your team must identify three articles per team member plus three more, including the keystone--for each, how did they vary the basic procedure in your keystone article? What did they find? Each teammate will read thoroughly and summarize three different articles from this list. You will turn in an annotated bibliography (including photocopies of the front pages of the ones read first-hand) based on this research by Class 10.
4. While you carry out this research, you will decide what sort of variation on this theme has not been tried yet, and why it might be interesting. Obviously, it must be a variation that you could achieve in our laboratory on relatively sophisticated human subjects. You and your team will then design in detail your variation of the experiment. It should be an experiment with a single true (not organismic) Independent Variable with two or three levels. You will submit a formal design proposal, in a format to be explained in depth later, on Class 14.
5. Before Class 24, you and your teammate will conduct a pilot experiment with me as the subject. All equipment, stimuli, data sheets, instruction sheets, etc., should be ready at this time.
6. Based on your design proposal and my comments on it, you will turn in (working individually) a justification for your experiment in the form of an APA-style Introduction section (a Reference List must also be included). You will use the keystone article and your three of the articles, and any others you are interested in, except for the articles that belong to your teammate. This will be turned in around Class 21.
7. Class 24 is Experiment Day. You and your team will carefully conduct twelve of your classmates through your experiment. You will take turns conducting the study and serving as your classmates' subjects. ATTENDANCE ON EXPERIMENT DAY IS MANDATORY.
8. You and your team will immediately organize the data and each turn in a graph of the means of your conditions for the next class. Every other assignment from this point on is to be done individually. For the class after that, you will turn in two versions of the analysis: One done by hand, showing all calculations, and one done in SYSTAT. Obviously, your results must agree.
9. On a date to be determined, you and your team will jointly present a brief (about 10 minutes) report to the class, focusing on the general idea of the experiment, your results, and your conclusions. They will have the opportunity to ask some questions about your experiment, and likewise you will be able to ask questions of them when they present. Attendance on this class is also mandatory.
10. Finally, in the week before the Final, you will turn in your own APA-format research report about your own experiment.