Experimental research is at the core of the advances in cognitive psychology
Requirement for Assignment
Experimental research using the Online Psychology Laboratory
Experimental research is at the core of the advances in cognitive psychology.
During this Hand-in Assignment, you will deepen your knowledge of the methodological approach by participating in an experiment at the American Psychological Association’s Online Psychology Laboratory, downloading the results spreadsheet, conducting the necessary analyses to test two hypotheses and reporting the results.
The Object Location Memory task was developed by Irwin Silverman and Marion Eals in 1992 to study cognitive sex differences on tests of spatial abilities. Participants were first presented with an array of simple drawings representing objects (teapot, binoculars, umbrella…) or animals (cat, elephant). One minute later, they were told to watch another group of objects, including the original ones and some novel stimuli (scissors, pan…), and they had to put a cross through those objects that were not in the original array. The balance of hits and wrong answers provided a measure of object memory. A related task involved the presentation of the same items as the stimulus array, but some were in the same location and others were not; the balance of hits and mistakes in identifying the objects that had been relocated was taken as a measure of location memory.
To prepare for this Hand-In Assignment:
Create a Student Account via the APA Online Psychology Laboratory by selecting Student Login, Create Account.
American Psychological Association. (n.d) Online Psychology Laboratory. Retrieved from https://opl.apa.org
Once account has been created, login using your new Student Login.
Select ‘Experiments’ and under the heading ‘Cognition’ select the ‘Object Location Memory’ experiment. Enter ‘Class ID’ 202342 in the box ‘Enter Class ID’. Then select ‘Launch experiment’.
Now, follow these instructions:
- Enter your gender, age, gender, hand preference, race, and musical training, and click on ‘Launch experiment’. This will take you to the start page for the experiment.
- Read an overview of the experiment under the ‘Description’ tab.
- After reading the experiment description, select the ‘Experiment’ tab for the ‘Object Location Memory’ experiment and select ‘Start’.
- Follow the instructions and then complete the practice trial.
- You will be then presented with 5 trials, which you must complete.
- After the final trial, click on ‘Save data’
- Go to the ‘Data’ tab on the left hand side of the page and select ‘Older Data’
- Then select ‘Object Location Memory’ in the scroll-down menu for ‘Experiment’
- Then select ‘University of Liverpool – LPSY322 (11007)’ and click on ‘Get report’.
- Save the Excel file in your computer.
- Open SPSS and import the Excel file. Save the file in your computer.
Note: If you have difficulty downloading the data, please contact the instructor for an alternative data set.
Observe that, for each participant, apart from personal data (user ID, gender, class ID, age and date), information is provided about their performance in each trial.
For instance, user 414409 correctly identified 6 of the objects that had moved (TR1RH = 6), correctly identified 11 objects that hadn’t moved (TR1RM = 11), incorrectly identified as ‘moving’ 2 objects that hadn’t moved (TR1WH = 2) and incorrectly identified as ‘not moving’ 8 objects that had moved (T1WM = 8). For trial 1, the Discrimination Index value or ‘general score’ was 0.74 (ADI = 0.74142).
Complete the necessary analyses to test the following two hypotheses:
- For the total sample, there is a significant improvement in the test general score (ADI value) between trials 1 and 5; and
- In each trial, males perform significantly better than females, as measured by the general score (ADI value).
You must submit a report no longer than 1000 words. There is no minimum word count, and the quality of your arguments, rather than the number of words, will be considered (but if you write a really short report, you must make sure it is of exceptional quality).
In your assignments, you must follow the publication norms of the American Psychological Association. You should adhere to the following structure:
- Main text, including:
- Brief introduction and literature review.
- Brief description of method and procedure.
- Results, including the justification of the statistical analyses conducted, descriptive statistics and results of the statistical analyses to assess the hypotheses. You can present your data in text or in the form of tables and/or figures – select the method that better suits the data.
- Discussion of results, considering both the literature review and the hypotheses.
- References for the sources cited. Utilise APA format.
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