Understanding Experiments in Cognition
It is reasonable to admit that in four weeks you have been exposed to a great deal of information about the human mind! This assignment will give you the opportunity to examine how the knowledge that you have acquired during the past weeks may tie together. You will explore a phenomenon that interests you, highlight the methodologies used to study it, uncover the results obtained, and assess the validity of the knowledge acquired. These activities will make you aware of the intrinsic relationship between knowledge of specific mental and behavioral phenomena, as well as the limitations of the techniques used to study them. Knowledge in cognitive psychology is largely gathered by means of experiments. Thus, it is important that you become intimately familiar with this data-gathering method. The goal of the assignment is to ensure that you have a good understanding of specific cognitive psychological phenomena as well as experiments that are often used to investigate such phenomena. Abide by the instructions listed below:
- Watch the video, Experimental Research Methods in Psychology (Links to an external site.), on the experimental method.
- Go to the Ashford University Library or Google Scholar and select a peer-reviewed article on a topic of interest among those discussed in our class. If you prefer, you may select an article from the recommended resources.
- Describe the main research questions that the study attempts to answer. Keep in mind that a description of the main question of the study entails an explanation of the importance of the question (i.e., illustrates the gap in the existing literature).
- State the main hypothesis (prediction) made by the researchers.
- Identify the key variables.
- Describe the critical characteristics of both the participants and the procedures used.
- Summarize the main findings. How do these findings answer the question that the researchers formulated in the introductory section of the article?
- Explain the extent to which the findings answer the research question. Do the findings support their research question (or prediction)?
- Illustrate the weaknesses and strengths of the selected study. For instance, ask yourself questions such as the following:
- Is the technique used to understand the selected phenomenon able to gather adequate information about it?
- How does this technique compare to other techniques used in cognitive psychology?
- Do the findings of the selected study generalize to individuals who may be different from those who participated (young versus older adults)?
- Please note that research articles often contain more than one study. Thus, in this assignment, you are given the opportunity to describe each experiment separately or focus on what you believe to be the most significant experiment.
Your paper must begin with an introduction to the selected topic in which you define the research question and all concepts that will be discussed in the paper. For instance, let us assume you select the article by Strayer and Johnston “Driven to Distraction: Dual-Task Studies of Simulated Driving and Conversing on a Cellular Telephone” as the topic of your paper. Then your task is to state the question the researchers want to answer and define the terms attention, divided attention, and distraction.
Your paper requires a brief summary of the content of the selected article according to the guidelines described above. It also requires a conclusion expressing your thoughts about the strengths and weaknesses of the available evidence. If possible, suggest the course that future research should take if the answer to the selected question is less than conclusive.
The Memory Errors in Real Life Paper
- Must be four to five double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.).
- Must include a separate title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Must use at least one peer-reviewed source (the article you chose) in addition to the course text.
- The table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
- Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.