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 which interests you, highlight the methodologies used to study it, uncover the results obtained, and assess the validity of the knowledge acquired. These activities will to 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.
- Watch the video, Experimental Research Methods in Psychology, on the experimental method:
- Go to the Ashford University Library or Google Scholar and select one peer-reviewed article on a topic of interest among those discussed in our class. If you prefer, you may select an article from this list.
- Describe the main research questions that the study attempts to answer, state the main hypothesis (prediction) made by the researchers, and identify the key variables. 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).
- Describe the critical characteristics of both the participants and the procedure(s) 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: 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.