Psychology 201W, Spring 2002 Dr. John A. Johnson
Lab Assignment #1 (Due in lab, Friday January 25).

The purpose of this assignment is to provide students with practice in writing research reports. The assignment is worth 30 points.

A research report consists of the following parts:

1. Title Page
2. Abstract
3. Introduction
4. Method
5. Results
6. Discussion
7. References

I described in class what each of these sections should contain. In addition, Chapter 15 of the Leary textbook discusses the parts of a research report and provides a sample manuscript of a report (pp. 377-395). The APA Publication Manual provides extensive information on the proper content and organization for research reports in Chapter 1 and excellent advice about writing style in Chapter 2. For this assignment, you should write short Introduction, Method, Results and Discussion sections for a writeup of the demonstration performed in class on Wednesday, January 16th. Additional information you will need follows below.

Use the following title:

Linguistic Comprehension Requires Prior Knowledge of Relations in Events

Introduction: Compare Titchner's (1909) and Bransford and McCarrell's (1974) views (which Dr. Johnson described in class) of what is necessary for a set of sentences to be comprehensible, that is, to "make sense." This section should end with a proposal for comparing the two conflicting theories by collecting the kind of data we did in our own study.

Method: Include appropriate information in Participants, Materials, and Procedure subsections. Your description of participants should include the number of persons participating in the study and anything else you think is important about them. For Materials, you can simply describe the two pictures rather than actually reproducing them. For Procedures, describe how the experiment was conducted, including the two experimental conditions, how participants were assigned to conditions, and how the data were collected and analyzed. I will email everyone a copy of the paragraph I read to the research participants when we begin this lab so that you can include it in your report.

Results: I will also email you a paragraph that contains the actual results of the study after we collect our data.

Discussion: This section should interpret how the results support or do not support Bransford and McCarroll's theory of comprehension. Weaknesses and limitations of the methods we used should be described. When you conclude this section with implications for future research, you might consider a "real-life" situation such as students trying to comprehend a lecture in a college classroom.

References you will need are:

Bransford, J. D., & McCarrell, N. S. (1974). A sketch of a cognitive approach to comprehension: Some thoughts about understanding what it means to comprehend. In W. B. Weimer & D. S. Palermo (Eds.), Cognition and the symbolic processes (pp. 189-229). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Titchner, E. B. (1909). Lectures on the experimental psychology of thought processes. New York: Macmillan.

What you should turn in:

Cover page with Title given above and your name
Introduction (about 1 paragraph)
Method (about 2 paragraphs)
Results (use paragraph given)
Discussion (2-3 paragraphs)
References (those mentioned above)

The total length of these three sections should not be more than about 3-4 typed pages (double-spaced). Bring the completed assignment with you to lab on Friday, January 25.