V89.0046 - Lab in Human Cognition: Fall 10


Meeting time/place

Mondays and Wednesdays, 2pm – 3:50pm, 159 Meyer


A PDF of the syllabus.


This course provides hands-on experience with the standard experimental tools used in cognitive psychology research. Students run experiments, collect and analyze data, write research reports, and design and run a new experiment as a final project. Additionally, students read and analyze research papers that use complex and expensive experimental methods that cannot be directly explored in the classroom. Content areas include memory, categorization, attention, learning, automaticity, and visual perception. Lectures introduce new skills that apply not only in analyzing, communicating, and presenting scientific work, but more broadly how to effectively communicate complex scientific ideas. The course culminates in an intensive final project involving the design and analysis of a novel experiment.


Todd M. Gureckis
email: todd.gureckis@nyu.edu
website: here, lab
office: 859
office hours: after class friday or by appt.

Teaching Assistant

Lisa Fiorenzo
email: lmf347@nyu.edu
office: Room 161-H
office hours: Tuesdays, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Writing Instructor

Matt McClelland
email: msm8@nyu.edu
office: 411 Lafayette, Rm 412
office hours: by appointment


There is no textbook for this course. However, the following may come in handy in writing your reports: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). (2001). Washington, DC:American Psychological Association. No readings from this book will be assigned, and much of the content, is available on-line via judicious Google searches. There will be other readings made available as PDF files or handouts in class.

Course Announcements

2.3.2010 -  Dear class, Matt, the writing TA has suggested that he can give better feedback on the first paper via email. So please email your latest draft of the paper to him at msm8@nyu.edu. In addition, he will be hosting office hours Friday, March 11, from 10-2 at 411 Lafayette. You can bring your drafts to the meeting and get some face-to-face help and feedback.

1.19.2011 - This is where course announcements will appear. Please check back often.

Schedule (with links to slides)

Date Description Slides/Handouts
Jan. 24

Introductions, Why Study Human Cognition? (assign reading 1), Discuss plan for final project

[final project]
[reading 1]
[why R?] [survey]
Jan. 26

What make a good (or bad) Experiment? Designing experiments to test hypothesis. Collect data for Exp. 1.

Jan. 31

Discuss Simon reading, Background on Experiment 1, Begin Experiment 1 data analysis,(assign readings for Experiment 1, please read by next time, be prepared for quiz/discussion)

[read 1]
[read 2]
Feb. 2

Exercise 1 - an introduction to descriptive statistics, and computing simple t-tests

[exercise 1]
Feb. 7

Exp. 1 analysis (together in class. see handout for details)

[exercise 1]
Feb. 9

More Exp. 1 analysis, Stats quiz
Here's an interesting TED Talk relevant for our course

[lab 1 handout]
[lab 1 data]
Feb. 14

More Exp. 1 analysis, Communicating Results (basic introduction to writing APA styled papers and reporting statistical results in papers) What makes a good figure? Creating accurate and informative figures. Error bars and how to (mis)use and (mis)interpret them.

Feb. 16


Feb. 21

**No Class, University Holiday**

Feb. 23

Discuss structure of lab report, etc... Lab report 1 due Feb. 28th

[apa guide]
Feb. 28

Draft of Lab 1 due.

Mar. 2

Analyzing reaction time (RT), experiment 2 data collection (assign reading 5)

[read 1]
[read 2]
Mar. 7

Beyond pairwise contrasts: ANOVA (exp 2 data analysis)

[lab 2]
[read 3]
Mar. 9

Beyond pairwise contrasts: ANOVA (cont.) (more exp 2 data analysis)

Mar. 14

**No Class, University Holiday**

Mar. 16

**No Class, University Holiday**

Mar. 21

Beyond pairwise contrasts: ANOVA (cont.) (more exp 2 data analysis)

Mar. 23

Beyond pairwise contrasts: ANOVA (cont.) (more exp 2 data analysis)

[lab 2 part 2]
Mar. 28

Two-way ANOVA. Finish Exp. 2 data analysis, talk about structure for lab 2 paper.

[lab 3 instructions]
Mar. 30

Draft of lab report 2 due, collect experiment 3 data (BEFORE CLASS - see lab 3 directions on Mar. 28th) Begin lab 3 discussion. Meet to discuss final project ideas. Return lab 1 reports and discuss grading.

Apr. 4

continue working on Experiment 3

[exp 3 slides]
[*NEW* handout]
[lab 3 data] [read 1]
[read 1]
Apr. 6

Lab 2 report due Friday. Regression and multiple regression (cont. )

[*NEW* handout]
Apr. 11

Experiment 3 data analysis

[*NEW* handout]
Apr. 13

Experiment 3 data analysis

Apr. 18

Final project time

Apr. 20

Final project time, Mock IRB application

[Mock IRB Application]
Apr. 25

Lab 3 Report due Tues Apr. 26th. Final project time, How to build your own experiment using PyPsyLib

Apr. 27

Final project time, How to give a talk

May 2

Final project time

May 4

Final project time

May 9

Final project time

May 11-17

During assign final exam time we will have a mini-conference to present everyone's final projects.