Empirical Project II Fall 2016

From Psych 291: Behavioral Research and Statistics II
(Redirected from Empirical Project II)
Jump to: navigation, search


Students will learn how to conceptualize an experimental research study (true experimental or quasi-experimental), write a research proposal describing this project, pre-register a scientific project project, collect the data and analyze their data. The project will be communicated via an APA manuscript and a poster presentation.


  1. Wednesday, 2/10: On your own, develop a research idea
  2. Monday, 3/2: As a team, write an proposal (as a team, working from a single research idea)
  3. Monday, 4/11: As a team, collect and compile data. Each team member should run at least 15 participants. Compile the data into a single SPSS document, check carefully for errors, and then distribute to the team.
  4. Wednesday, 4/22: On your own, write an APA manuscript describing the project
  5. Monday, 4/27: As a team, design and give a Poster Presentation for the project

Some Research Ideas

Selecting a research topic is crucial to the success of this project. Here are the essential ingredients:

  • Interesting -- as a psych major, you should be curious/fascinated/obsessed with at least something about human behavior. Choose a topic and a question that truly interest you.
  • Simple -- a simple, elegant experiment can often tell you much more about a topic than a complex one. Find an manuscript you really and truly understand to replicate.

Here are some ideas:

  • Become part of the CREP project by replicating any of these studies:
    • Eskine, K. J., Kacinik, N. A., & Prinz, J. J. (2011).A bad taste in the mouth: gustatory disgust influences moral judgment. Psychological Science, 22(3), 295-299.
    • Griskevicius, V., Tybur, J. M., & Van den Bergh, B. (2010). Going green to be seen: Status, reputation, and conspicuous conservation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(3), 392-404. Study 1
  • Do men eat more when women are around?
    • Sigirci, O., Kniffin, K. M., & Wansink, B. (2014). Eating Together: Men Eat Heavily in the Company of Women. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 46(4, Supplement), S105–S106. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2014.04.030
  • Does feeling physically unstable make you feel emotionally unstable?
    • Forest, A. L., Kille, D. R., Wood, J. V., & Stehouwer, L. R. (2015). Turbulent Times, Rocky Relationships: Relational Consequences of Experiencing Physical Instability. Psychological Science, 26(8), 1261–1271. doi:10.1177/0956797615586402
  • Is taking notes more effective with a laptop or with an old-fashioned pen or pencil?
    • Mueller, P. a, & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014). The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking. Psychological Science, 25(6), 1159–1168. doi:10.1177/0956797614524581
  • Does knowing your computer saved the work make your own memory less reliable?
    • Storm, B. C., & Stone, S. M. (2014). Saving-Enhanced Memory: The Benefits of Saving on the Learning and Remembering of New Information. Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797614559285
  • Does feeling hungry make you more acquisitive?
    • Xu, A. J., Schwarz, N., & Wyer, R. S. (2015). Hunger promotes acquisition of nonfood objects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(9), 201417712. doi:10.1073/pnas.1417712112
  • Does exercise make it easier to learn new motor skills?
    • Statton, M. A., Encarnacion, M., Celnik, P., & Bastian, A. J. (2015). A Single Bout of Moderate Aerobic Exercise Improves Motor Skill Acquisition. Plos One, 10(10), e0141393. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141393
  • Does aspirin reduce your ability to feel pleasure as well as pain?
    • Durso, G. R. O., Luttrell, a., & Way, B. M. (2015). Over-the-Counter Relief From Pains and Pleasures Alike: Acetaminophen Blunts Evaluation Sensitivity to Both Negative and Positive Stimuli. Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797615570366
  • Does skipping help those who are depressed?
    • Peper, E., & Lin, I.-M. (2012). Increase or Decrease Depression: How Body Postures Influence Your Energy Level. Biofeedback. doi:10.5298/1081-5937-40.3.01
  • Does the color red make you more attractive?
    • Elliot AJ, Kayser DN, Greitemeyer T, Lichtenfeld S, Gramzow RH, Maier MA, Liu H. 2010. Red, rank, and romance in women viewing men. J Exp Psychol Gen 139: 399–417. PMID: 20677892.
  • Does thinking obesity is a disease cause you to give up on controlling your weight?
    • Hoyt CL, Burnette JL, Auster-Gussman L. 2014. “Obesity Is a Disease”: Examining the Self-Regulatory Impact of This Public-Health Message. Psychol Sci. PMID: 24463553.
  • Does thinking a product is cheap make you enjoy it less?
    • Shiv B, Carmon ZI V, Ariely DAN. 2005. Placebo Effects of Marketing Actions : Consumers May Get What They Pay For. XLII: 383–393.
  • Does learning more about how safe vaccines are make you trust them less?
    • Nyhan B, Reifler J, Richey S, Freed GL. 2014. Effective Messages in Vaccine Promotion: A Randomized Trial. Pediatrics.
  • Can trying to be happier make you happier?
    • Ferguson YL, Sheldon KM. 2013. Trying to be happier really can work: Two experimental studies. J Posit Psychol 8: 23–33.
  • Does having the door held for them make men feel terrible?
    • McCarty, M. K., & Kelly, J. R. (2013, December 19). When door holding harms: gender and the consequences of non-normative help. Social Influence. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.1080/15534510.2013.869252
  • Can being told you had a good night's sleep actually help you do better on a test?
    • Draganich, C., & Erdal, K. (2014). Placebo Sleep Affects Cognitive Functioning. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition. doi:10.1037/a0035546
  • Are we more moral in the daytime vs. the nighttime?
    • Kouchaki, M., & Smith, I. H. (2013). The Morning Morality Effect: The Influence of Time of Day on Unethical Behavior. Psychological science, (October). doi:10.1177/0956797613498099
  • Can a placebo make your smarter? Does it matter how much you pay for the placebo?
    • Shiv, B., Carmon, Z. I. V, & Ariely, D. A. N. (2005). Placebo Effects of Marketing Actions : Consumers May Get What They Pay For, XLII(November), 383–393.
    • Wright, S. a., da Costa Hernandez, J. M., Sundar, A., Dinsmore, J., & Kardes, F. R. (2013). If it tastes bad it must be good: Consumer naïve theories and the marketing placebo effect. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 30(2), 197–198. doi:10.1016/j.ijresmar.2012.11.002
  • Can being taught that vacciness don't cause autism actually make you less likely to vaccinate your kids?
    • Nyhan, B., Reifler, J., Richey, S., & Freed, G. L. (2014). Effective Messages in Vaccine Promotion: A Randomized Trial. PEDIATRICS. doi:10.1542/peds.2013-2365
  • Can having lots of facebook friends make you seem more attractive?
    • Scott, G. G. (2014). More Than Friends: Popularity on Facebook and its Role in Impression Formation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, n/a–n/a. doi:10.1111/jcc4.12067
  • Can just trying to be happier actually make you happier?
    • McCarty, M. K., & Kelly, J. R. (2013, December 19). When door holding harms: gender and the consequences of non-normative help. Social Influence. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.1080/15534510.2013.869252
  • Does being around a mirror make you eat less?
    • Sentyrz, S. M., & Bushman, B. J. (1998). Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the thinnest one of all? Effects of self-awareness on consumption of full-fat, reduced-fat, and no-fat products. The Journal of applied psychology, 83(6), 944–9. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9885199
  • Does being told obesity is a disease make the obese less worried about their weight?
    • Hoyt, C. L., Burnette, J. L., & Auster-Gussman, L. (2014). “Obesity Is a Disease”: Examining the Self-Regulatory Impact of This Public-Health Message. Psychological science, (January). doi:10.1177/0956797613516981
  • Does a McDonald's wrapper make your food taste better?
    • Robinson, T. N., Borzekowski, D. L. G., Matheson, D. M., & Kraemer, H. C. (2007). Effects of Fast Food Branding on Young Children’s Taste Preferences, 161(8), 792–797.
  • Could having a neat room make you healthier but less creative?
    • Vohs, K. D., Redden, J. P., & Rahinel, R. (2013). Physical Order Produces Healthy Choices, Generosity, and Conventionality, Whereas Disorder Produces Creativity. Psychological science. doi:10.1177/0956797613480186
  • Does using a laptop to take notes cause you to learn less than if you used paper/pencil?
    • Sana, F., Weston, T., & Cepeda, N. J. (2013). Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers. Computers & Education, 62, 24–31. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.10.003
  • Does having a smooth-talking professor make you feel like you are learning more?
    • Carpenter, S. K., Wilford, M. M., Kornell, N., & Mullaney, K. M. (2013). Appearances can be deceiving: instructor fluency increases perceptions of learning without increasing actual learning. Psychonomic bulletin & review. doi:10.3758/s13423-013-0442-z
  • Can mindfullness training improve your GRE scores?
    • Mrazek, M. D., Franklin, M. S., Phillips, D. T., Baird, B., & Schooler, J. W. (2013). Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering. Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797612459659
  • Does using fancy equipment make you better at sports?
    • Lee, C., Linkenauger, S. a, Bakdash, J. Z., Joy-Gaba, J. a, & Profitt, D. R. (2011). Putting like a pro: the role of positive contagion in golf performance and perception. PloS one, 6(10), e26016. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026016
  • Does feeling powerful make you better at sports?
    • Burgmer, P., & Englich, B. (2012). Bullseye! How Power Improves Motor Performance. Social Psychological and Personality Science. doi:10.1177/1948550612452014
  • Does power really corrupt?
  • Does thinking about romance decrease Women's interest in science and math careers?
    • Park, L. E., Young, A. F., Troisi, J. D., & Pinkus, R. T. (2011). Effects of Everyday Romantic Goal Pursuit on Women’s Attitudes Toward Math and Science. Personality & social psychology bulletin, 37(9), 1259–73. doi:10.1177/0146167211408436
  • Are faith and reason really at war? Does thinking analytically actually decrease religious faith?
    • Gervais, W. M., & Norenzayan, a. (2012). Analytic Thinking Promotes Religious Disbelief. Science, 336(6080), 493–496. doi:10.1126/science.1215647
  • Are we biased towards people who we agree with politically?
  • Can reading the 10 commandments really improve your behavior?
  • Is there an ideal study strategy for maximal learning?
    • Weinstein, Y., McDermott, K. B., & Roediger, H. L. (2010). A comparison of study strategies for passages: rereading, answering questions, and generating questions. Journal of experimental psychology. Applied, 16(3), 308–16. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20853989
  • Are the rich the rotten? Do people with wealth and status behave more unethically than those without?
    • Piff, P. K., Stancato, D. M., Cote, S., Mendoza-Denton, R., & Keltner, D. (2012). Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1–6. doi:10.1073/pnas.1118373109
  • Does getting the 'last' of something actually make it taste better?
    • O’Brien, E., & Ellsworth, P. C. (2012). Saving the last for best: a positivity bias for end experiences. Psychological science, 23(2), 163–5. doi:10.1177/0956797611427408
  • Does more expensive wine actually taste better than cheap wine? (you could use chocolate in your experiment)
  • Does being given the “cold shoulder” make you literally feel cold?
  • Are Star Trek posters responsible for ruining women’s interest in computer science?
  • Does taking a step back enable you think more carefully?
  • Can ambient aroma determine whether people will like you?
  • Is cleanliness really next to godliness? Do clean scents make us more virtuous?
  • Are men funnier than women or do they just think they’re funnier than women?
  • Will we ever have a female president?
  • Can you trick yourself into exercising more?
  • Are clockwatchers more progressive?
  • Do Big Macs make us impatient?