TASK 1: RESEARCH METHODS (8 points)

To truly get a gauge of your understanding of research methods, please read the following three articles below. For EACH article:

  1. Clearly identify the hypothesis(es) and the type(s) of research discussed (by the way, it’s not necessary that the author actually conducts a study since he/she could discuss other work so it is possible that there are different types of hypotheses and different methods).
  2. When a correlation (most often, there could be more than one) is presented, discuss this in depth. Some things to consider: is it a positive or negative correlation and how you determined that? In other words, what does it mean to have a “positive” or “negative” correlation? What are the variables involved? Advantages and limits of correlations? Discuss both concepts and how they are applied to the study(s) discussed in the article?
  3. When an experiment is involved, discuss this in depth. Some things to consider: what qualities are needed to make it an experiment? What are the independent and dependent variables involved? Advantages and limits of experiments? Discuss both concepts and how they are applied to the study(s)?

You must EXPLAIN your answers and talk about RESEARCH CONCEPTS in order to earn high points. You will find that there might be some inconsistent responses among students since in some cases, you will focus on different parts. In grading, I will allow some leeway in what is discussed but will also be looking for accuracy in your explanations. Keep in mind that I will post a document explaining all this after the week is done.

  1. Are Positive Emotions Good For Your Health In Old Age?

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/214442.php

  1. Study Identifying Risks, Consequences Of Video Game Addiction

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/214280.php

  1. Mindfulness Meditation Training Changes Brain Structure in Eight Weeks

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110121144007.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29

TASK 2: COGNITION (4 points)

Consider the fact that while human beings are quite good with their thinking, we often underestimate how faulty our cognition can be. Since our thinking is prone to error, it becomes more important to do systematic studies and to apply critical thinking!

Please complete each of the following three exercises (in some instances, you will need help from someone else). Your post should discuss details describing EACH of the exercises and primarily analyze various COGNITIVE CONCEPTS at play. In providing depth, it’s always good to explain briefly what happened to you personally but also go beyond; consider some different ways that people can cognitively figure out the tasks and what may affect the process. What might happen with someone else and why?

  1. Go to the following site to find nine dots arranged in a square matrix. http://www.brainstorming.co.uk/puzzles/ninedotsnj.html Try out the task: draw four lines through all the dots. Don’t look at the rest of the page unless you absolutely have to 🙂
  2. Stroop Effect:
https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/java/ready.html
  1. Find someone who is willing to do this exercise for you (your research “subject” or “participant”) and follow EACH of these steps systematically. There are several steps but the important part is not the steps themselves but discuss the final response (which is surprisingly similar for many people):

Tell them to pick a number from 1 to 9. Then, Subtract 5. Then Multiply by 3.
Square the number (multiply the number by the same number).
Add the digits until you get only one digit (i.e., 64=6+4=10=1+0=1).

If that number is less than 5, add five and move on to the next steps. If the number is five or greater, subtract 4 and move on to the next steps.

Next steps:
Multiply by 2. Then Subtract 6. This is the final digit.

Okay, the math is all done; NOW, Map the final digit to a letter in the alphabet, 1=A, 2=B, 3=C, etc.
Pick a name of a country that begins with that letter.
Take the second letter in the country name and think of a mammal that begins with that letter.
Think of the color of that mammal.

Tell your “subject” what we most often find from psychological research with this exercise: “You are thinking of a gray elephant from Denmark, right? :)” Feels like MAGIC, right?!

Okay, okay, some of you may get some other creative responses but MOST people come up with this one so for this discussion, certainly consider why you got these findings and/or why you didn’t! Make sure to consider psychological concepts as to why that happens and different factors that influence this process.

I look forward to reading about your experiences and observations after doing these exercises. Please remember that in everything you do for this class, I expect application and analysis of concepts and while I’ll enjoy reading your opinions, will be looking for a scientific understanding of social psychology. You should also include few descriptive details about the experience itself (assume that I don’t know about the exercise).

As you know, for all discussions, you are also expected to provide meaningful responses to others to earn up to three points. Have fun talking with each other and certainly go beyond the minimum of three and try to ADD something to the discussion (maybe even with researching something online).

ENJOY!

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