V89.0046 - Lab in Human Cognition: Spring 12


Meeting time/place

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 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

Vince Chuan
email: vince.chuan@gmail.com
office: TBD
office hours: TBD

Writing Instructor

Zach Udko
email: zbu200@nyu.edu
office: 411 Lafayette
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

3.15.2012 - Please note the readings for lab 2 have been posted (please look at these over break).

1.19.2012 - 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]
[stats review 1]
Feb. 7

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

[stats review21]
Feb. 9

More Exp. 1 analysis

Lab 1 Data

[lab 1 handout]
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?

Feb. 16

Final Exp 1 Analysis, Creating accurate and informative figures. Error bars and how to (mis)use and (mis)interpret them.

[apa guide]
Feb. 21


Feb. 23

Discuss structure of lab report, etc... Lab report 1 due soon!

Feb. 28

Draft of Lab 1 due.

Mar. 1

Analyzing reaction time (RT), experiment 2 data collection

Mar. 6

Begin exp 2 data analysis

[a blog response to the iphone article] [lab 2 data]
[nytimes article]
[related article]
Mar. 8

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

Mar. 13

**No Class, University Holiday (Spring Break)**

[read 1]
[read 2]
Mar. 15

**No Class, University Holiday (Spring Break)**

Mar. 20

Beyond pairwise contrasts: ANOVA (cont.) (more exp 2 data analysis) The Science of Scientific Writing (please read)

Writing guide
Mar. 22

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

Mar. 27

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

See info about final project timeline!

[final projects]
Mar. 29

Intro to lab 3, wrap up lab 3.

Apr. 3

Draft of lab report 2 due. collect experiment 3 data, begin working on Experiment 3

[lab 3 workbook]
Apr. 5

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

Apr. 10

Experiment 3 data analysis

Apr. 12

Experiment 3 data analysis

Apr. 17

Final project time

[Example Debriefing form]
Apr. 19

Final project time, Mock IRB application

[L3 Reading 1]
[L3 Reading 2]
Apr. 24

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

[Reading 1]
[Reading 2]
Apr. 26

Final project time, How to give a talk

May 1

Final project time

[Talk notes]
May 3

Final project time

May 9

Final project time

May 9-15

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