The first criterion is practicality. The project should be something in which the experiment can be set up fairly easily and the data can be collected easily as well.
- You can potentially do a modification of one of the class experiments. If the programming is not too complicated, I can modify the program to your specifications.
- You can do a program on the computer using something like PowerPoint to present your stimulus materials.
- You can do a pen-and-paper type experiment, though it would still need to be a computer document, so fellow students can have access to it.
- Participants (Subjects) will preferably consist of fellow students but may consist of friends, family, random volunteers, etc. if you can make a case why that is necessary..
- It should take no more than about 15 minutes per person.
- I will show you how to set up a Google Doc like the ones we have been using , so that students may post their data in the same way as we have been doing for our weekly experiments.
How to Get Ideas
- You can do a small modification of one of the experiments we have already done or one you have read about. However, it should not just be some random modification (e.g. what would happen if we used letters rather than numbers in the Sternberg task); there should be some theoretical basis for the modification.
- You can read textbooks (e.g. your Intro Psychology book) and do modification of one of those
- You can read a research report, and pay special attention to the end, where sometimes the researcher makes specific suggestions for future research.
- You can come up entirely with your own idea.
- The following are not actual ideas, but rather categories to get you started. Your own idea does not need to come from this list.
i. Test mnemonic techniques
ii. look at serial position effects
iii. compare visual vs. verbal memory
iv. something with memory for faces
- Effects of Multi-tasking
- Something with visual illusions
- Test out Gestalt organization principles by (e.g.) comparing grouping by color to grouping by form.
- Metacognition (how well do people know what they know)
- Come up and test various scenarios (Note you would have to have an Independent variable, testing out some idea, not just wondering how people will rate various scenarios)
i. judging overall attractiveness
ii. views on sexual harassment
iii. how to make an argument more/less convincing
- Anagrams (can give different types of clues—e.g. correct firs letter, last letter, tell person the part of speech, etc.) to get some handle on how words are mentally represented.