Building a priming experiment (32-40 hours)

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Module overview

In this module, you will create and carry out your own priming experiment. This is a major project which will require several steps:

The goal of this module is for you to gain experience in actually conducting psycholinguistic research, and get familiar with the kinds of issues that emerge when you conduct an experiment.

All the activities in this module can be done alone or with a partner.

Module instructions

This module includes seven tasks. When I teach this class, I lock most of the tasks such that students cannot proceed to the next task until they show me their work on the first task and get approved to move on to the next one. Therefore, whenever a student finishes one task, it may take 1-2 days before you are able to advance to the next task (assuming they have completed the task correctly and don't need to redo it). Please plan your time accordingly; do not leave this module for the last minute. I expect that it may normally take 2 or 3 weeks to complete this module.

The arrangement for the discussion session is a bit different for this module than it is for the others. For other modules, I schedule the discussion session for the same day the module is due, and all the discussion topics are ones that assume participants have all completed the module. For this module, however, I think it's more useful to have a discussion several weeks before the module is due, and to give a chance for students to discuss issues they are facing in the process of doing the experiment. Therefore, the discussion topics are things that people might encounter before they finish the experiment, and the discussion might be held before students have completed the whole module. I generally tell the students that, if they plan to join the discussion, they should complete at least the first task.

Next to each task I have written an estimate of how much time you might need to complete the task. This is, of course, a rough estimate, and the real time may be different for different students.

Module activities

  1. Decide which type of priming to test (2 hours)
  2. Make your word list (6 hours)
  3. Make a DMDX experiment (10 hours)
  4. How to analyze data (1-3 hours)
  5. How to make statistical conclusions (2 hours)
  6. Do the experiment! (6-10 hours)
  7. Submit your report (5 hours)
  8. Optional: discussion topics

by Stephen Politzer-Ahles. Last modified on 2021-07-12. CC-BY-4.0.