This overview will be continuously updated over the course of the year. There will be up-to-date information for at least the upcoming lab class. Information about lab classes further in the future might be from last year and yet to be updated. I left it there so you have a rough idea about the content of future lab classes. A horizontal line and the comment “Info below is from last year. It has not been updated yet and might change” identifies labs that have not been updated yet.
The aim of the first lab class is to give you an overview of the module and to get you ready for the upcoming lab classes.
Chapter 1 describes who will support your learning and how you will be able to get support outside of the lab classes. This includes the help desk, the Moodle forum, e-mail and Teams chat.
Chapter 2 talks about your weekly lab classes (note: attendance is compulsory and will be monitored) and gives a brief overview of what we will cover in this year. In addition, it describes the workload for this module and provides you with a—slightly tongue-in-cheek—comparison of what was expected of you in school and what will be expected of you at university.
Chapter 3 explains how this module will be assessed (including the research participation scheme or RPS). It also touches upon academic misconduct, extenuating circumstances and support plans.
Chapter 4 focuses on what you need to do to prepare yourselves for the upcoming lab classes. This includes getting access to the core reading and setting up your computer.
Chapter 5 describes your first formative activity. This will involve posting about an interesting psychological study or finding on our Moodle forum.
- To learn key facts about this module (Chapters 1 to 3).
- To get everything set up for the upcoming lab classes (Chapter 4).
- For the Moodle forum post activity (Chapter 5):
- To make sure your Moodle access works and you can post to a Moodle forum.
- To start thinking about psychological research.
- If you took A-level Psychology, to re-activate knowledge.
- Get ready for the upcoming lab classes (Chapter 4):
- Go to the PSGY1001 Moodle forum and add a post about an interesting psychological study or finding by Friday, 7 October (Chapter 5).
Chapter 7: Chapters 1 to 3 in Beth’s book are an introduction to scientific reasoning. This chapter picks up on the distinction between research producers and consumers and highlights the importance of empiricism. It also discusses the distinction between conceptual and operational definitions.
Chapter 8 describes a formative activity that requires a submission on Moodle. Your task is to design a study investigating Germans’ sense of humour.
Chapter 9 describes your first summative quiz.
- To acquire the basic vocabulary necessary to describe and evaluate psychological studies.
- To demonstrate understanding of this vocabulary in a multiple-choice quiz.
- To apply this vocabulary when designing a study.
- To work together as a team.
- To share documents using Office 365 and to jointly edit documents.
Chapter 11 briefly talks about research ethics. It also includes a link to material that we will use for an activity in the lab class.
Chapter 12 describes a formative activity that will require you to reflect on the reliability and validity of a measurement scale used in an educational psychological setting.
- To consider ethical guidelines when conducting research.
- To learn how to identify good measurement and to apply this knowledge in an activity.
The week commencing 24 October is our careers and activity week. There will be no lab classes in this week.
Chapter 14 is an introduction to experiments. It will give you the opportunity to try out two very simple experiments!
Chapter 15 has a closer look at attrition (participant dropout). It picks up on the role of attrition described in Beth’s book and demonstrates how attrition can be a threat to internal validity under circumstances that are not considered in the book.
Chapter 16 introduces interference tasks. It explains how interference tasks typically have a relevant and an irrelevant dimension. Under certain circumstances, the information conveyed by the irrelevant dimension can conflict with the information conveyed by the relevant dimension. As we are typically unable to fully ignore the irrelevant dimension, participants tend to be slower and make more errors when there is conflict. This is referred to as the interference effect.
Chapter 17 focuses on a particular interference task, the so-called flanker task. You will have the opportunity to read sections of a published research article in the lab class and will be asked to answer a number of questions about the article.
Chapter 18 describes your second summative quiz.
- To understand how experiments support causal claims.
- To learn about different types of experimental designs.
- To evaluate threats to internal validity.
- To learn about possible reasons for null effects.
- To demonstrate understanding of the chapter contents in a multiple-choice quiz.
- To read an empirical research article and to apply the knowledge from the book chapters when interrogating the article.
Chapter 20 explains how to open, run and save PsychoPy experiments.
Chapter 21 explains the PsychoPy Builder window and its parts: the components panel, the routines panel, the flow panel and the toolbar. It also explains how to quit a running experiment.
Chapter 22 explains the most relevant PsychoPy components and their main properties in more detail. It focuses on the Text component, the Image component and the Keyboard component.
- Learn PsychoPy basics:
- Learn how to open, run and save PsychoPy experiments.
- Understand the role of components, routines and the flow in the Builder view.
- Know the main properties of Text, Image and Keyboard components.
- Apply your knowledge when completing the exercises.
Chapter 25 explains input file basics and how to use PsychoPy loops to update information from one trial to the next.
Chapter 26 shows that input files can be used to define stimuli, to determine the accuracy of responses and to add relevant information to PsychoPy output files.
- To learn how to use loops and input files in PsychoPy.
- To apply this knowledge when completing the Lab 6 exercise and the formative PsychoPy assignment.
Chapter 30 explains how to give accuracy feedback using PsychoPy.
Chapter 31 explains various miscellaneous bits of information about PsychoPy. These are: the order in which PsychoPy processes components, how to skip routines, and how to copy and paste routines and components. It also describes how to access the demo experiments that come with PsychoPy.
- To learn how to give feedback in PsychoPy.
- To apply this knowledge when completing the exercise.
Chapter 35 covers PsychoPy output files. We will focus on where these output files are stored, how they get their file name, and what is stored in the rows and columns.
- Read Chapter 35 in the HHG. (You do not need to read this before the lab class.)
Chapter 38 is an introduction to using Excel.
Chapter 39 introduces Excel formulas and some Excel functions that are relevant for us.
Chapter 41 explains the rationale behind data preprocessing.
Chapter 42 shows how to preprocess PsychoPy output files with Excel. It explains how to remove trials with extreme RTs, incorrect trials and trials with outlier RTs.
For those interested, Chapter 43 shows how to preprocess PsychoPy output files with R.
- To learn how to use Excel to analyse a PsychoPy output file, including:
- Removal of trials with extreme RTs.
- Removal of incorrect trials.
- Removal of trials with outlier RTs.
- To learn how to calculate means, medians and standard deviations using Excel.
Chapter 46 is an introduction to SPSS. Among other things, it introduces SPSS file types, explains how to get data into SPSS and how to compute new variables in SPSS. It also mentions some free alternatives to SPSS.
Chapter 47 covers some steps that should be completed before calculating descriptive or inferential statistics using SPSS. Specifically, it describes how to check measurement levels and how to define missing values.
- To learn some SPSS basics, including:
- Getting data into SPSS.
- Computing new variables.
- To learn about SPSS alternatives.
- To learn how to:
- Check measurement levels.
- Define missing values.
- Add variable and value labels.
- Read Chapters 46 and 47 in the Hitchhiker’s Guide. (You do not need to read these chapters before the lab class.)
- In the lab class (see Lab 11 exercises):
- Calculate the RT interference effect for the Stroop task.
- Critically reflect on measurement levels after importing data.
- After the lab class: If necessary, catch up on the Excel material from Labs 9 and 10. Note that there will be a summative quiz on this material next week!
Chapter 50 focuses on categorical data, including selecting and sorting variables, calculating descriptive statistics for categorical data and recoding variables.
Chapter 51 focuses on continuous data, including calculating descriptive statistics for continuous data, boxplots and removing participants.
To learn how to:
- Use Frequencies in SPSS to screen data and to compute descriptive statistics.
- Recode variables.
- Use boxplots to identify outliers.
- Remove and filter participants.
- Read Chapters 50 and 51 in the Hitchhiker’s Guide. (You do not need to read these chapters before the lab class.)
Chapter 55 is an introduction to inferential statistics.
Chapter 56 covers how to run, interpret and report one-sample t-tests.
Learn how to…
- Run and interpret a one-sample t-test using SPSS.
- Report the results of a one-sample t-test.
- Before the lab class: Read Chapter 55 in the Hitchhiker’s Guide. We will not cover this chapter in the lab class and will assume that you are familiar with this material.
- After the lab class: Go over Chapter 56 again to make sure you understand what we covered in the lab. In addition, read the parts we did not talk about in the lab and follow some of the links we added to this chapter to deepen your understanding.
- In the lab class:
- Run a one-sample t-test using SPSS.
- Compute a one-sample t-test step by step (see Lab 13 exercise).
The week commencing 20 February is our reading week. There will be no lab classes in this week.
Chapter 59 covers how to run, interpret and report a Pearson correlation test.
Learn how to…
- Run and interpret a Pearson correlation test using SPSS.
- Report the results of a Pearson correlation test.
- After the lab class: Go over Chapter 59 again to make sure you understand what we covered in the lab.
Chapter 63 is an introduction to writing lab reports.
Chapter 65 introduces the lab report template and the lab report marking rubric.
- To familiarise yourself with the lab report template and the marking rubric.
- To learn how to structure an introduction section.
There will be no new content this week to allow to focus on the formative lab report. In the lab class, we will answer questions about the formative lab report and complete an activity focusing on discussion sections.
In Chapter 72, we’re showing you how to create bar charts using Excel and SPSS.
In the lab class, you will have the opportunity to practise APA referencing.
- To learn how to create a bar charts using Excel and SPSS.
- To practise APA referencing.
Formative lab report feedback (see Chapter 76).
Learn about commonly identified issues in the formative lab reports and how to address these.
Chapter 78 provides you with examples of past formative lab reports.
- See how other students wrote their formative lab reports.
- Attempt to mark lab reports.
- Critically reflect on your own formative lab report by comparing it to other lab reports.
- In the lab class: Mark two lab reports.
- After the lab class: Compare your formative lab report to the better examples and think about ways in which your formative lab report could have been improved. Attempt to apply insights gained to your summative lab report.