Lecture Script Assignment

Theoretical background of the assignment

According to McGuire’s book (2015), Teach Students How to Learn, teaching is one of the most effective way of learning. Numerous experiments regarding human memory (e.g., Mantyla, 1986; Slameka & Graf, 1978) have supported this principle. In this assignment, you will develop a word-for-word lecture script to teach six experiments regarding human memory. This assignment will give you a chance to evaluate your own understanding of those experiments.

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Purpose of the assignment

This assignment is for achieving the first two objectives of this course.

[Course Objective 1: Be able to explain the experimental approach of investigating cognitive processes]
In the selected experiments, researchers had developed hypotheses and tested them based on experimental data. By completing this assignment, you will practice explaining how experimental approaches are used to investigate cognitive processes.

[Course Objective 2: Be able to explain well-established findings regarding various aspects of human cognitive processes, such as, attention, perception, memory, knowledge, problem solving, and judgments/decision making]
In this assignment, you will practice explaining six renowned experiments in cognitive psychology, especially those about memory, by preparing a lecture script to explain those experiments.
Target Skills and Knowledge

This assignment will help you obtain the following skills and knowledge that are critical for your future professional career.

Skills:

Effectively communicating scientific findings: Especially about the motivation of a study and the connection between the findings of a study and their implications regarding the subject matter.
Approaching a topic with multiple perspectives (as an instructor vs. as a student) that enforces metacognition (e.g., Do I explain contents in a way that makes sense to my audience?).

Knowledge: You will obtain knowledge about sensory memory, cause of forgetting, semantic coding, evidence of implicit memory, levels of processing theory vs. transfer-appropriate theory, and encoding specificity.

 

Task

Below is a list of experiments and the concepts or theories related to the experiments that were selected from Chapters 5, 6, and 7 (two experiments from each chapter).
Ch 05. Short-Term and Working Memory

Sperling’s experiment with whole report condition, partial report condition, and delayed partial report condition regarding sensory memory (its capacity and duration).
Decay theory regarding the results of Brown-Peterson task vs. Keppel and Underwood’s alternative explanation (Proactive interference).

Ch 06. Long-Term memory: Structure
‘Release from PI’ experiment by Wickens et al. (1976) & Semantic coding.
Graf et al. (1985) experiment regarding implicit memory with amnesia and non-amnesia patients.

Ch 07. Long-Term Memory: Encoding, Retrieval, and Consolidation
Encoding specificity and two related experiments (e.g., underwater vs. on the ground, with vs. without noise, and happy vs. sad mood).
Transfer-Appropriate Processing (Morris et al., 1977) and its implications for the levels-of-processing theory.

Pretend that you are an instructor of this course and teach these experiments and the related concepts and theories. Also, pretend that you will eventually give them open-ended questions about the experiments where students need to discuss the experiments and their implications.
With this context, your task of this assignment is to prepare your WORD-FOR-WORD LECTURE SCRIPT for teaching these experiments.
Make sure to generate the script in your own words without copying sentences from the textbook or merely summarizing them.
Make sure to include the following components in your script for each experiment.
The motivation of the research (why did the researchers conduct the study?) or discussion of the hypotheses being tested.
Method description (i.e., describe the participants, stimuli, and procedure – you may skip some of the information when it was not given in the textbook).
Description of the experimental logic and expected results according to the hypotheses.
Results reporting and interpretation of the results (discussion of the implications of the results regarding the subject matter).
Cue statements for each component.
“The purpose of this experiment is …” or “Their hypotheses were …”
“The participants were…,” “The stimuli were…,” and “In the beginning of the experiment, participants …(their tasks)… and then (following procedures)”
“The researchers used a specific procedure of XX to test YY because… (logic of the experiment)” and “According to the researchers hypothesis, there should be such and such results. However, according to the alternative hypothesis, there should be different results…”
“The results of this experiment were… which indicated that …”
Your work for each experiment should include the above (or similar) statements with the keywords underlined (the hot key for underline is Ctrl+U).
If you did not underline those cue statements, then, you would lose 1 point.
Criteria for success

A good explanation of an experiment should include the above-mentioned components:
The motivation of the experiment or researchers’ hypotheses
Method
Experimental logic and predicted results of each hypothesis
Actual findings and their implications
Make sure to use the above list (a ~ d) and the cue statements at the bottom of the previous page (again, a ~ d) as a checklist to evaluate your work before you submit the work.
Students will be asked to provide feedback on peers’ work based on the same checklist.
Students often struggle with explicitly explaining the logic behind experimental procedure. Here’s an example explanation of an experimental logic.
(Regarding Sperling’s partial report condition) “Sperling released a tone that indicates the row to report AFTER subjects saw the three-row letter-array stimuli. Therefore, subjects did not know which row to report when they saw the stimuli. According to the unlimited-capacity hypothesis, subjects should be able to report any row regardless of the tone because they can hold all the rows’ information. According to the limited-capacity hypothesis, subjects cannot perform this task well (i.e., not being able to report the letters well) because, they can hold only limited amount of information from the letter-array stimuli.”

This assignment will be graded (out of 7 points: 1 point X 6 experiments to explain + 1 extra credit that you can earn based on the overall quality) and the points will be counted toward your final score (please see the letter-grade scheme from the syllabus).
Here are some additional tips for a high-quality work:
In Sperling experiment, clearly address the two competing hypotheses regarding the cause of the poor performance in the whole report condition (limited capacity vs. fast decay).
In Keppel and Underwood experiment, make sure to address their reasoning behind the proactive interference (i.e., note that they focused on the memory performance in the first few trials compared to those in the later trials).
In Wickens experiment, make sure to address why the results support the semantic coding.
In Graf et al.’s experiment, address the relationship of the words between the explicit recall test and the word-completion test.
Regarding the Transfer-Appropriate Processing (Morris et al., 1977), make sure to contrast the results expected by the levels-of-processing theory and the transfer-appropriate processing theory.

Grading Rubric (the following rubric will be used to evaluate the lecture note for each experiment)

 

Criteria

100%
66%
33% or less
Identification of the research motivation
(“why the research?”) and description of the hypotheses being tested
(0.2 pts)
Accurate identification of the motivation and hypotheses
(0.2 pts)
Fair identification of the motivation and hypotheses but need improvement
(0.1 pts)
Little or no attempt to identify the motivation and/or hypotheses
(0 pt)
Method description
(participants, stimuli, procedure)
(0.2 pts)
Accurate description of the method
(0.2 pts)
Good description but need improvement
(0.1 pts)
Need Much Improvement
(0 pt)
Logic and expected-results description based on hypotheses
(0.2 pts)
Accurate description of the logic and expected results
(0.2 pts)
Good description of the logic and expected results but need improvement
(0.1 pts)
Inaccurate or lack of the description
(0 pt)
Results reporting and description of the implication of the findings
(0.2 pts)
Accurate description of the results and excellent interpretation of the findings
(0.2 pts)
Accurate description of the results but insufficient interpretation of the findings
(0.1 pts)
Either/both inaccurate description of the results or/and inaccurate (lack of) interpretation of the findings
(0 pt)

Writing Quality
(0.2 pts)
No typos or other writing mistakes
(0.2 pts)
Less than 3 typos or writing mistakes
(0.1 pts)
More than 3 typos or other writing mistakes
(0 pt)
Note: Instead of the word-for-word lecture script in which you teach the experiment, if you merely summarize the contents of the textbook, then 2 points will be deducted for each experiment.

 

Hint for the answers: While more comprehensive and useful information for this assignment can also be found from my PowerPoint files, I’m highlighting some of the most important aspects that should be addressed in your work.

Ch 05. Short-Term and Working Memory

Sperling’s experiment with whole report condition, partial report condition, and delayed partial report condition regarding sensory memory (its capacity and duration).
 When you address what the results of the partial report condition indicate, include the following wording “participants did not know which row to report when the letter array was given…”
Decay theory regarding the results of Brown-Peterson task vs. Keppel and Underwood’s alternative explanation (Proactive interference).
 When you explain Keppel and Underwood’s proactive interference claim, make sure to fully address the evidence (i.e., the first trial’s exceptional performance).

Ch 06. Long-Term memory: Structure
‘Release from PI’ experiment by Wickens et al. (1976) & Semantic coding.
 When you interpret the results, make sure to address how the results are supporting the semantic coding.
Graf et al. (1985) experiment regarding implicit memory with amnesia and non-amnesia patients.
 When you go over the stimuli, indicate the relationship between likability-rating words and word-fragment answers (i.e., how one can facilitate the other). When you interpret the results, make sure to address how those results indicate the existence of implicit memory.

Ch 07. Long-Term Memory: Encoding, Retrieval, and Consolidation
Encoding specificity and two related experiments (e.g., underwater vs. on the ground, with vs. without noise, and happy vs. sad mood).
 Define encoding specificity and how it is related to the enhanced retrieval with a consistent context between encoding and retrieval.
Transfer-Appropriate Processing (Morris et al., 1977) and its implications for the levels-of-processing theory.
 Don’t forget to address how the findings of transfer-appropriate processing would negatively affect the levels-of-processing theory.

 

-The End-

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